13th February 2017
Japan to build world's largest floating solar power plant
In a joint venture, Kyocera Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation have announced plans to start construction of the world's largest floating solar power plant, on the Yamakura Dam reservoir, managed by the Public Enterprises Agency of Chiba Prefecture in Japan for industrial water services.
The 13.7 megawatt (MW) plant will be managed by the Public Enterprises Agency of Chiba Prefecture for industrial water services. It is scheduled for launch during 2018 and will be comprised of approximately 51,000 Kyocera modules installed over a fresh water surface area of 180,000m². The project will generate an estimated 16,170 megawatt hours (MWh) per year – enough to power almost 5,000 typical households – while offsetting 8,170 tons of CO2 emissions annually. This is equal to 19,000 barrels of oil consumed.
The project was initiated in October 2014, when the Public Enterprises Agency of Chiba Prefecture publicly sought companies to construct and operate a floating solar power plant to help reduce environmental impacts. With a decrease in tracts of land suitable for utility-scale solar power plants in Japan, Kyocera has been developing floating solar power plants since 2014, which utilise Japan's abundant water surfaces of reservoirs for agricultural and flood-control uses. The company began operation of 1.7MW and 1.2MW plants in March 2015, followed by the launch of a 2.3MW plant in June.
Like many other nations around the world, Japan is seeing rapid growth in deployment of solar energy. Based on current trends in generating capacity, the country has the potential to be almost 100% solar powered by 2040.
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