Kyocera to Build Japan's Biggest Solar Power Plant

April 10, 2012
'Mega-solar plant' will provide power for 22,000 homes in nearly nuclear-free Japan.

High-tech manufacturer Kyocera said April 10 it will build Japan's largest solar power plant to help solve an electricity crunch in the almost nuclear power-free country.

Kyocera (IW 1000/299) said it will join forces with heavy machinery giant IHI (IW 1000/264) and Mizuho Corporate Bank to construct a solar power plant capable of generating 70 megawatts of electricity, in southern Kagoshima prefecture.

The planned output is equivalent to 40 percent of industrial solar cells shipped domestically in 2011, Kyocera said in a statement.

It will provide enough electricity for roughly 22,000 households annually and, if replacing power generated from fossil fuels, will offset around 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide, it said.

The "mega-solar plant" is expected "to help solve Japan's power supply issues caused by the effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and to make a contribution to environmental protection," the statement said.

Japan has struggled with a serious power crunch after last year's massive tsunami triggered the Fukushima nuclear crisis, which led to the shuttering of all but one of the nation's 54 nuclear reactors amid safety fears.

For the $307 million project, the three companies plan to create a joint venture in June and start constructing the plant in July, the statement said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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