Japan to Build World’s Largest Floating Solar Power Plant


Japan has taken steps to build the world’s largest floating solar plant. The project was unveiled by the Tokyo Leasing Corporation and Kyocera Corporation to be built atop Japan's Yamakura Dam reservoir.

The companies gave the massive solar project the target completion date of March 2018, reports Solar Crunch.

The plant floating in water will reportedly generate 16,170 MW/h of electricity annually, or enough to power 4,900 homes.

The electricity produced will be used and distributed by the Tokyo Electric Power System’s grid. 

The Kyocera Corporation has also announced building a second solar plant in Japan atop the Umenokifurukori reservoir. 

Construction on the Yamakura solar project had reportedly commenced as of Jan. 25. The project will include 51,000 solar modules installed on the reservoir, covering roughly 180,000 square meters, reports Clean Technica. 

The floating plant will have to be durable enough to withstand typhoons that infamously hit Japan. Kyocera Corporation says it plans to securely anchor the plant to the bottom of Yamakura reservoir, reports IIEE Spectrum. 

The solar panels will be mounted on top of a metal-free platform resistant to UV rays and corrosion, which is produced by the Ciel et Terre company. The platform should help slow water evaporation and algae growth while not impacting the reservoir’s water quality. 

Japan’s push to install floating solar plants is especially important for the island nation due to a lack of open land suitable for solar panels.

Toshihide Koyano, the general manager of Kyocera Corporation’s solar group, explained the project to IIEE Spectrum in an interview. 

“Due to the rapid implementation of solar power in Japan, securing tracts of land suitable for utility-scale solar power plants is becoming difficult. On the other hand, because there are many reservoirs for agricultural use and flood control, we believe there’s great potential for floating solar-power generation business.”

Japan, Australia and India are the only countries that have constructed floating solar plants. 

The cost of the floating solar plant has not been disclosed by Kyocera, but it is projected to cost more than ground installation.     

Sources: Clean Technica, IEEE Spectrum, Solar Crunch / Photo credit: IEEE Spectrum via Kyocera Corp.

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