In a joint venture, Kyocera Corp. and Century Tokyo Leasing Corp. said Kyocera TCL Solar has started construction on a 13.7 MW floating solar power plant on the Yamakura Dam reservoir, managed by the Public Enterprises Agency of Chiba Prefecture in Japan for industrial water services.
Scheduled for launch in FY2018 (fiscal year ending March 31, 2018), the plant will be comprised of about 51,000 Kyocera solar modules installed over a fresh water surface area of 180,000 square meters.
The project will generate an estimated 16,170 MWh per year — enough electricity to power about 4,970 typical households — while offsetting about 8,170 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. This is equal to 19,000 barrels of oil consumed.
The project was initiated in October 2014, when the Public Enterprises Agency of Chiba Prefecture publicly sought companies to construct and operate a floating solar power plant to help reduce environmental impact.
With the decrease in tracts of land suitable for utility-scale solar power plants in Japan due to the rapid implementation of solar power, Kyocera TCL Solar has been developing floating solar power plants since 2014, which use Japan’s water surfaces of reservoirs for agricultural and flood-control purposes.
The company began operation of 1.7 MW and 1.2 MW plants in March 2015 followed by the launch of a 2.3 MW plant in June. With Kyocera Communication Systems Co., Ltd. responsible for construction and Kyocera Solar Corp. undertaking O&M (operation and maintenance) of these projects, the Kyocera Group is cultivating the technology and expertise to construct, operate and maintain floating solar power plants.