Kyocera TCL Solar LLC, a joint venture established by Kyocera Corp. and Century Tokyo Leasing Corp. has completely constructed two of Japan’s largest large-scale solar power “megasolar” plants at Nishihira Pond and Higashihira Pond in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture. The two power plants were started commercial operation in late March and were inaugurated on April 18th.
The two solar power plants “float” on the surface of two reservoirs in Hyogo Prefecture. The Nishihira Pond plant has a 1.7MW capacity and the other one at Nigashihira Pond has a 1.2MW capacity, totaling 2.9MW of installation capacity. The power plants consist of 11,256 pieces of 255W Kyocera PV modules and were started construction in September 2014.
The most attractive feature of such kind of floating solar power plants is that they can generate more electricity than ground-mounted and rooftop PV systems due to the cooling effect of the water. Moreover, the systems floating atop the water help reduce reservoir water evaporation and algae growth because they shade the water. To resist the solar systems, the floating platforms are designed and engineered to withstand extreme physical stress such as typhoons. The platforms are made of high-density polyethylene which can withstand ultraviolet rays and resist corrosion. In addition, the platforms are completely recyclable.
Cumulatively, the floating power plants will generate an estimated 3,300 MWh of solar power annually. Electricity generated will be sold to the local utility, Kansai Electric Power Inc., through Japan’s feed-in tariff programs.