Kyocera Corp. IW 1000/347) will join with Century Tokyo Leasing Corp. to develop and operate a 13.4-megawatt (MW) floating solar power plant on the Yamakura Dam reservoir. The plant will become the largest floating solar installation in the world the companies announced on Dec. 22.
Managed by the Public Enterprises Agency of Chiba Prefecture in Japan, the plant is expected to begin operations in March 2016.
“When we first started R&D for solar energy in the mid 1970’s, the technology was only viable for small applications such as street lamps, traffic signs and telecommunication stations in mountainous areas,” stated Nobuo Kitamura, senior executive officer and general manager of the Corporate Solar Energy Group at Kyocera. “Since then, we have been working to make solar energy use more ubiquitous in society, and have expanded our business to residential, commercial and utility-scale solar applications. We are excited to work with our partners on this project, taking another step forward by utilizing untapped bodies of water as solar power generation sites.”
The project will be comprised of approximately 50,000 Kyocera modules installed over a water surface area of 180,000m. The plant will generate an estimated 15,635 megawatt hours (MWh) per year — enough electricity to power approximately 4,700 typical households* — while offsetting about 7,800 tons* of CO2 emissions annually.
By cooperating with local companies on construction and operation, and establishing an environmental education facility adjacent to the plant to provide environmental classes for local elementary school students, Kyocera and Century Tokyo Leasing hope that the project will play a role in the development of the local community. The companies are committed to promoting solar energy as a means to attain a low-carbon society.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014