Kyocera Corporation has started building a 13.7MW floating solar power plant as a step to design the solutions of renewable energy and fulfill the future power requirements of Japan. The power plant, claimed to be the world’s largest, will be built on the Yamakura Dam reservoir which is being managed for industrial water services by the Public Enterprises Agency of Chiba Prefecture.
The floating solar power plant, expected to be launched in 2018, comprises of about 51,000 Kyocera modules installed over a fresh water surface area of 180,000m2. The power plant will overshadow Japan’s current floating farm with five times more solar panels and seven times more covered area.
According to Kyocera, the project will generate around 16,710 megawatt hours (MWh) per year, enough to power approximately 4970 typical households. The electricity produced is equivalent to 19,000 barrels of oil consumed and it will also offset about 8170 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
The floating solar power plants developed by Kyocera since 2014 utilise Japan’s abundant water surfaces of reservoirs for agricultural and flood-control purposes. This is due to implementation of solar power gaining traction in Japan with land for utility-scale solar power plants getting scarce. It is believed that with solar panels placed on top of waters, the water’s cooling effect can improve the solar panel’s efficiency by 10 percent compared to placing it on land, apart from giving life to idle or abandoned spaces.