Japan opens nation's largest floating solar farm

Japan opens nation's largest floating solar farm

Photo courtesy of Kyocera

Touted as Japan’s largest floating solar plant, a new 13.7 megawatt (MW) site has begun operation.

Sitting on the surface of the Yamakura Dam reservoir in Ichihara, the 44-acre plant is managed by the waterworks bureau of Chiba Prefecture for industrial use.

The farm was constructed by Kyocera TCL Solar, a joint venture of Kyocera and Tokyo Century established in 2012 to promote large-scale solar projects. Since its establishment, Kyocera TCL Solar has constructed 61 solar power plants across Japan.

Seven of those projects have been floating solar power plants. The company, officials said, chose to use Japan’s fresh-water dams and reservoirs rather than agricultural land because of the increasing difficulty to secure tracts of land suitable for a utility-scale power plant. 

The Yamakura plant includes 50,904 Kyocera solar modules that will generate an estimated 16,170 megawatt hours (MWh) per year ― enough electricity to power approximately 4,970 typical households. 

All power generated will be sold to TEPCO Energy Partner.

The project was originally initiated by the Public Enterprises Agency of Chiba Prefecture, which sought to help reduce its impact on the environment. 

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