Kyocera TCL Solar LLC has started construction of the world’s largest 13.7 megawatt (MW) 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 firm is a joint venture between  Kyocera Corp. (IW 1000/352)  and Century Tokyo Leasing Corp.

Scheduled for launch in  2018, the plant will be comprised of approximately 51,000 Kyocera modules installed over a fresh water surface area of 180,000m. The project will generate an estimated 16,170 megawatt hours (MWh) per year — enough electricity to power approximately 4,970 typical households — while offsetting about 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 impact.

With the decrease in tracts of land suitable for utility-scale solar power plants in Japan due to the rapid implementation of solar power, Kyocera TCL Solar has been developing floating solar power plants since 2014, which utilize Japan’s abundant water surfaces of reservoirs for agricultural and flood-control purposes.

The company began operation of  1.7 MW and 1.2 MW plants in March 2015 followed by the launch of a 2.3MW plant in June.