Kyocera goes even bigger with world’s largest floating solar farm

Electronics and ceramics manufacturer Kyocera has announced the development of a 13.4MW floating solar power plant in Japan which will be the world's largest floating solar array.

The solar farm, on the Yamakura Dam, Ichihara City, will comprise 50,000 modules installed over a water surface area of 180km2; to generate about 15,635MWh electricity per year, powering 4,700 typical households and offsetting an estimated 7,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

When fully operational (in March 2016), the system will be almost five times bigger than Kyocera’s last floating solar installation in Japan, which was 2.9MW in size. 

Kyocera Corporation general manager Nobuo Kitamura said: “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. 

“Since then, we have been working to make solar energy use more ubiquitous in society, and have expanded our business to residential, commercial and utility-scale solar applications. We are excited to work with our partners on this project, taking another step forward by utilising untapped bodies of water as solar power generation sites.”

Making waves

Kyocera and Century Tokyo Leasing jointly established Kyocera TCL Solar LLC in August 2012 for the purpose of constructing and operating multiple utility-scale solar power plants in Japan under the country’s feed-in-tariff system, which commenced in July 2012. 

This latest project will see Kyocera Corporation supply solar modules and related equipment, as well as building and operating the installation, while Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation will provide the funding.

In September last year, edie reported on the 2.9MW project comprising two separate floating arrays in the Nishira and Higashihira reservoirs, generating enough electricity to provide power to roughly 920 typical households. At more than four times the size, Kyocera’s new project will replace the old as the world’s largest floating solar power plant.

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Lois Vallely

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