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Largest Solar Plant in Japan Launched

Posted on the 06 November 2013 by Dailyfusion @dailyfusion
The 70MW Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant.The 70MW Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant. (Credit: Kyocera

The Kyocera Corporation yesterday announced the launch of a 70 MW solar power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant went online on November 1. According to the Kyocera Corporation, this is the largest solar plant in Japan currently in operation (as of November 1, 2013).

An inauguration ceremony was held on November 4, and was attended by representatives from the Kyocera Corporation and local governments to commemorate the launch of the country’s largest utility-scale solar power station.

Expectations and interest in solar energy have heightened to a new level in Japan with the need to resolve power supply issues resulting from the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011. To further promote the use of renewable energy, the Japanese government launched a restructured feed-in-tariff (FIT) program in July 2012, which stipulates that local utilities are required to purchase 100% of the power generated from solar installations of more than 10 kilowatts (kW) for a period of 20 years.

Public tour facility at the 70MW Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant.

Public tour facility at the 70MW Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant. (Credit: Kyocera Corporation)

Exploring a new business model for utility-scale solar power generation, Kagoshima Mega Solar Power Corporation was established by Kyocera and six other companies in July 2012. Under a financing plan devised by Mizuho Corporate Bank, the new company was tasked to develop and operate the 70MW solar power plant on land owned by IHI Corporation—with the power generated to be purchased by Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc. based on the FIT program. As the largest shareholder of the new company, the Kyocera Group was responsible for the supply of solar modules as well as part of the construction, and will also undertake maintenance of the system with Kyudenko Corporation.

Additionally, a tour facility has been built adjacent to the 70MW plant—which is open to the public— featuring a circular viewing room where visitors can observe the 290,000 solar panels from an elevated vantage point and enjoy the view of the ocean bay and grand Sakurajima volcano in the background. Display zones for visitors such as students and tourists provide information about environmental issues and the science behind photovoltaic energy generation. By dedicating this facility, all parties involved hope to foster a deeper understanding of renewable energy and further facilitate a low-carbon society.

Yesterday we reported that ABB, a multinational corporation operating mainly in the power and automation technology areas, and its consortium partner Bondfield Construction have won an order from Canadian Solar Solutions to supply a 100 MW turnkey photovoltaic (PV) solar project for the Grand Renewable Energy Park in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province. Once commissioned, this plant will become the Canada’s largest solar farm, surpassing the 80 MW Sarnia Solar Farm.

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