Japan to be home to the world’s largest floating solar energy system

May 11, 2016 1 By Stephen Vagus

Companies partner to build massive solar farm

Japan is lacking in terms of land, being a relatively small country when compared to neighboring China, but this has not diminished the country’s interest in renewable energy. The Japanese government has been showing strong support for solar energy in recent years, and this enthusiasm is beginning to take hold among some of the country’s largest corporations. The problem, however, is that solar power systems tend to take up considerable land resources. The Tokyo Leasing Corporation and the Kyocera Corporation may have found an effective solution to this problem.

New solar project to have an energy capacity of 13.7 megawatts

Together, the two companies plan to build the world’s largest floating solar energy plant. The floating solar array will have a 13.7 megawatt capacity and is meant to be built within the Yakamura Dam reservoir. Kyocera already has plans to build another floating solar power system within another reservoir located elsewhere in Japan. Kyocera will be providing the solar modules that will be used by the system, planning to deliver some 51,000 modules. The solar energy system itself will cover some 180,000 square meters.

Floating solar farms can be a major benefit for countries with limited access to land

Floating solar energy systems are not an entirely new idea. In countries with limited land resources, such energy systems are quite attractive, as they can be built in existing reservoirs or, in some cases, at sea. Building such systems can be quite expensive, however, due to the logistics involved in ensuring that solar modules remain above the water. Kyocera already has experience with this type of system, having built four floating solar energy systems in Japan since 2014. This experience may prove useful in mitigating costs and ensuring that the energy system operates effectively.

Project expected to be completed in 2018

The energy generated from the floating solar array is planned to be sold through the Tokyo Electric Power Company. This particular project is expected to generate approximately 16,170 megawatt-hours of energy every year, which is enough to power 4,700 average households. The project is expected to reach completion and begin generating electricity at some point in 2018.