Japan Is Building Solar Power Plants on Reclaimed Land
Under a joint venture between Kyocera and Century Tokyo Leasing, underutilized land on Japan’s largest lake, Lake Biwa, is being put to use to host the largest solar power plant in Shiga Prefecture. The project provides enough power to supply approximately 2,900 average households. A ceremony was held on October 31 to commemorate completion of the 8.5-megawatt plant, which will generate an estimated 9,300 megawatt hours per year.
Project planning began in October 2013, when Shiga Prefecture was publicly seeking companies to construct a solar power plant on the island. Shiga Prefecture, Kyocera, and Kyocera TCL Solar concluded basic agreements in December 2013 and started construction in October 2014.
With the goal of promoting renewable energy and creating a resilient community, the multi-faceted project also includes emergency power-supply equipment consisting of a 4-kilowatt Kyocera solar power generating system and a 16.2kW storage battery, as well as solar streetlights with clocks powered by 95-watt Kyocera solar modules. In addition, the plant features a nearby observation deck where year-round visitors can view more than 33,000 solar modules from an elevated vantage point with Japan’s largest fresh water lake in the background.
To further educate students about solar energy, Kyocera TCL Solar donated eco-lesson kits including miniature solar-powered cars and trains to the Center of Shiga to Act against Global Warming to help students experiment and discover potential solutions for global warming, in the hope of helping children deepen their understanding of environmental and energy-related issues.
In addition to this project, Kyocera and Century Tokyo Leasing are developing solar power plants at multiple sites in Japan, many of which are being repurposed on underutilized land such as abandoned golf courses, including a 92MW plant in Kagoshima, a 23MW plant in Kyoto, a 29.2MW plant in Tottori, and a 27MW plant in Fukushima, sites which are characterized by expansive land mass, high sun exposure, and a low concentration of shade trees. Kyocera and Century Tokyo Leasing hope to contribute to the development of the region with expansion of renewable energy using solar as a particularly productive way to reduce the impact of global climate change.
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