The world’s largest floating solar power installation planned in Japan

The world’s largest floating solar power installation planned in Japan

Engineers in Japan are hoping to harness the solar power with the construction of what will be the planet’s largest floating solar power installation.

Japan’s Kyocera Corporation has already leveraged the power of open water with shoreline solar installations like the fixed Kagoshima Nanatsujima plant, pictured below. The new project, however, will be built around 50,000 solar collection modules actually afloat on the Yakamura Dam reservoir.


An image of the Kyocera Corporation’s existing Kagoshima Nanatsujima power plant in Japan. The company’s new project will be the largest fully-floating solar installation in the world (Image credit: Kyocera)

The modules will cover a water surface area of around 180,000 square meters. Engineers estimate the plant will generate more than 15.6 megawatt hours (MWh) per year. That’s enough to power approximately 4,700 average households. According to the company’s projections, the floating power plant will gather enough solar power from the surface of the dam to offset about 7,800 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. The facility will also include an education center adjacent to the plant, to provide classes for local students on environmental issues.

The plant will be developed and operated by Kyocera TCL Solar LLC, a joint venture between Kyocera Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation. If the plant sticks to its schedule, this will become the world’s largest floating solar power plant in terms of capacity/output.


Image Credit: Aerial view of the Yamakura Dam site, Kyocera

Kyocera TCL was selected by Public Enterprises Agency for industrial water services in Chiba Prefecture. The Kyocera group will supply, install, operate and maintain the equipment for the solar plant, whereas Century Tokyo Leasing will provide project financing. The modules will be installed using the French company Ciel et Terre’s patented Hydrelio floating platforms. Once installed, the plant will spread over a water surface area of 180,0002 and deliver an estimated output of 15,635 MWh/year. The electricity generated at the solar plant will be sold to Tokyo Electric Power Co. for an estimated ¥450 million/year ($78.7 million/year).


“When we first started R&D for solar energy in the mid 1970’s, the technology was only viable for small applications such as street lamps, traffic signs and telecommunication stations in mountainous areas,” said Nobuo Kitamura, Kyocera senior executive officer, in press materials for the project. “Since then, we have been working to make solar energy use more ubiquitous in society. We are excited to work with our partners on this project, taking another step forward by utilizing untapped bodies of water as solar power generation sites.”

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