World’s largest floating solar power plant on the way in Japan

floating solar rendering

We’re gonna need a bigger boat.

In a joint venture, Kyocera Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation announced that Kyocera TCL Solar LLC has started construction of the world’s largest 13.7-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.

Scheduled for launch in FY2018, the plant will be comprised of approximately 51,000 Kyocera modules installed over a fresh water surface area of 180,000 sq meters. The project will generate an estimated 16,170 MWh per year.

RELATED: Sonoma County Is Building the Largest Floating Solar Project in the United States 

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 2.3-MW plant in June. With Kyocera Communication Systems Co., Ltd. responsible for construction and Kyocera Solar Corporation undertaking O&M (operation and maintenance) of these projects, the Kyocera Group is cultivating the technology and expertise to construct, operate and maintain floating solar power plants. Here is a map of what they’ve already done:

Map of floating solar power projects by Kyocera TCL Solar

 

Location Yamakura Dam

(Ichihara City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan)

Operation Kyocera TCL Solar LLC
Output Approx. 13.7MW
Solar modules 270-watt Kyocera modules (50,904 modules in total)
Expected annual power generation Approx. 16,170MWh/year
Electricity generated is planned to be sold to Tokyo Electric Power Company, Incorporated
Construction timeline Start of construction: December 2015

Planned launch: FY2018 (fiscal year ending March 31, 2018)

Design & construction KYOCERA Communication Systems Co., Ltd.
Maintenance KYOCERA Solar Corporation

— Solar Builder magazine

PV to slide in Japan, Germany — does this effect global growth?

global pv sales

After amending its renewable energy law in August 2014, Germany is expected to attain an annual installed capacity of around 1.8 GW in 2015 and will fail to hit the annual solar PV installation target of between 2.4 and 2.6 GW, according to Ankit Mathur, GlobalData’s Practice Head for Power.

“This is due to ongoing Feed-in Tariff (FiT) degressions, along with the €0.0617 ($0.0688) surcharge on self-consumption in 2015,” Mathur said. “The country is implementing initial measures to move away from expensive renewable energy subsidies and towards a reverse auction system by 2017. Two rounds of auctions took place in Germany earlier in 2015, with the third round expected to take place in December.”

Similarly, Japan’s lucrative solar PV policies, which had been attracting strong investment in recent years, have seen cuts in 2015 that will mean a reduction in installed capacity additions, compared with 2014’s record-breaking figure of 10 GW.

RELATED: GlobalData predicts a 60-GW coal power reduction by 2020 in U.S. 

“With the arrival of the first solar PV FiT cut in April 2015, Japan’s FiT level decreased from JPY32 ($0.27) per kilowatt hour (kWh) in 2014 to JPY29 ($0.24) per kWh, and further to JPY27 ($0.22) per kWh from July 1, 2015,” Mathur said. “These cuts, put forward by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, ended the premium rates for solar PV, and were triggered by a maturing market that has seen the cost of solar operation and maintenance fall.”

But despite those heavy hitters seeing a slow down, the global cumulative installed capacity for solar photovoltaic power will rise from 175.4 GW in 2014 to an estimated 223.2 GW in 2015, according to GlobalData. Here is the company’s mid-year report.

The company’s latest report states that China will remain the world’s largest market for annual solar PV installations in 2015, adding around 17.6 GW this year. The US will follow with almost 8.2 GW of additions, while India will witness strong demand in its solar PV market thanks to growing policy and political support.

— Solar Builder magazine

Canadian Solar to build huge 47-MWp solar plant in Japan

Canadian Solar Inc. signed an agreement with Mashiki Town and Kumamoto Prefecture to build a 47-MWp solar power plant. Once completed, the Mashiki solar power plant will be the largest solar plant in Kumamoto Prefecture.

canadian-solar-logoThe Mashiki plant is expected to start commercial operation in the first quarter of 2017. Powered by Canadian Solar modules, the plant is expected to generate approximately 57,000 MWh of clean, solar electricity per year, which will be purchased by Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc. under a 20-year feed-in-tariff contract at the rate of JPY36.0 ($0.30) per kWh.

“We are very pleased to announce this agreement with Mashiki Town and Kumamoto Prefecture,” commented Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar Inc. “The Mashiki solar project is our largest Japanese project to start construction, and represents an important milestone as we continue to make progress developing our high-value solar project pipeline in this important market.”

Founded in 2001 in Canada, Canadian Solar is a leading manufacturer of solar photovoltaic modules and a provider of solar energy solutions. Canadian Solar has a geographically diversified pipeline of utility-scale power projects. In the past 14 years, Canadian Solar has successfully deployed over 10 GW of premium quality modules in over 70 countries around the world.

Stay up on all your Canadian Solar news here

— Solar Builder magazine

How Renewable Energy Can Power Japan Post-Fukushima

pbsobrienfukushima

hwassermanNaoto Kan tells PBS’s Miles O’Brien he looks forward to a Japan where “all electricity produced by nuclear power will be supplied by solar panels.”

Kan was Japan’s pro-nuke Prime Minister until three melt-downs and four explosions ripped Fukushima apart and spewed its unmeasurable clouds of deadly radiation into the air and ocean.

Now a member of Japan’s Diet, Kan has covered his own home’s rooftop with solar panels, which he believes are the key to his country’s energy future. He is one of five Japanese ex-Prime Ministers now in opposition to atomic energy.

O’Brien puts Kan at the center of his third and final exploration of the Fukushima disaster and its impact on the archipelago. His report cuts deep to the core of a nation now 80 percent opposed to nuclear power, but cursed with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a militaristic right-wind reactor backer surrounded by talk of bringing atomic weapons to Japan’s armed forces. Abe wants to restart as many of Japan’s idled 48 reactors as he can (thankfully, the six at Fukushima Dai’ichi have been declared permanently dead).

To back his corporatist campaign, Abe has perpetrated—with U.S. support—a State Secrets Act that threatens Japanese citizens with 10 years in prison for criticizing atomic energy.

O’Brien doesn’t mention that. But he does talk with Hirohiko Izumida, governor of the province that hosts seven reactors at Kashiwazaki that were struck by an earthquake in 2007. Tokyo’s attempt to reopen them is “exceedingly arrogant,” he tells O’Brien.

Most corporate reports on Fukushima purport that its radiation won’t hurt anyone and that Japan needs those nukes, with nothing but corporate talking heads to deliver an increasingly preposterous message.

By contrast, O’Brien’s three reports have penetrated the issues to their core. This final dispatch looks at Japan’s prospects for replacing atomic power with renewables, from a massive solar farm built by Kyocera to a 50-turbine wind project at Kamisu. After Fukushima, he says, “Maybe atomic energy will be safer. But will it be safe enough?’

Watch the first episode of O’Brien’s Fukushima special: PBS Takes Us on a Terrifying ‘Post-Apocalyptic’ Tour Inside Fukushima.

Watch the second episode of O’Brien’s Fukushima special: Miles O’Brien Takes PBS Fishing for Radiation at Fukushima.

Visit EcoWatch’s FUKUSHIMA page for more related news on this topic.

——–

Harvey Wasserman edits NukeFree.org  and wrote Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth.

topnewsbanner1