8.5MW Solar Power Plant Completed on Reclaimed Island on Japan’s Largest Lake

Kyocera Solar Power Plant
8.5MW solar power plant completed by Kyocera TCL Solar on an reclaimed island on Japan's largest lake (Photo: Business Wire)

Kyocera TCL Solar has completed construction of the largest megawatt*1 solar power plant in Shiga Prefecture, Japan. A ceremony was held on October 31st to commemorate completion of the 8.5 MW plant, which will generate an estimated 9,300 megawatt hours (MWh) per year — enough electricity to power approximately 2,900 typical households*2.  Kyocera TCL Solar is a joint venture between  Kyocera and Century Tokyo Leasing.

Project planning began in October 2013, when Shiga Prefecture was publicly seeking companies to construct a solar power plant on underutilized land on Yabasekihanto Island, located on Lake Biwa. 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 (kW) 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, 23MW plant in Kyoto, 29.2MW plant in Tottori and 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.

Project Overview

Location Yabasekihanto Island, Kusatsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Japan
Operation Kyocera TCL Solar LLC
Output Approx. 8.5MW
Site area 96,138m2
Solar modules 255-watt Kyocera modules (Approx. 33,000 modules in total)
Expected annual power generation Approx. 9,300 megawatt MWh/year
Electricity generated will be sold to the local utility (The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc.) through Japan’s feed-in-tariff system.
Completion date October 31, 2015 (Start of Construction: October 28, 2014)
Start of operation November 1, 2015
Design & construction KYOCERA Communication Systems Co., Ltd.
Maintenance KYOCERA Solar Corporation

*1 Largest operating solar power plant in Shiga prefecture, Japan. Research by Shiga Prefecture, Kyocera, Century Tokyo Leasing and Kyocera TCL Solar (as of October 30, 2015).
*2 Based on an average annual use of 3,254.4kWh per household. Source: Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan (Graphical Flip-chart of Nuclear & Energy Related Topics 2015)

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.

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