World’s Largest Floating Solar Power Plant

World’s Largest Floating Solar Power Plant
World’s Largest Floating Solar Power Plant

The world’s largest floating solar installation is set to begin construction this month in Japan.

Kyocera Corporation, Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation and Ciel et Terre International are cooperating in the development of two utility-scale floating solar power plants totaling 2.9 megawatts.

The two installations will be located at Nishihira Pond and Higashihira Pond in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture. The plant planned at Nishihira Pond will have a generation capacity of 1.7 MW, making it the largest solar power generating system installed in water, the EcoSeed reported.

In August 2012, Kyocera and Century Tokyo Leasing jointly established Kyocera TCL Solar LLC for the express purpose of constructing and operating multiple utility-scale power plants.

Since the launch of Kyocera TCL Solar LLC, it has constructed 28 solar power plants, of which 11 have begun operations.

It will be Kyocera TCL Solar LLC that will develop and operate the two floating power plants in partnership with Ciel et Terre, which will provide the projects with its Hydrelio floating solar platforms.

The floating solar platforms developed and patented by Ciel et Terre will be provided by their Japanese subsidiary Ciel Terre Japan K.K. 

These platforms not only allow for solar power generation over water, they also allow for easy cooling of the systems using the water they float on, which in turn allows the system to generate more power than ground-mount or rooftop systems.

While Japan is in the midst of a massive solar push – with favorable feed-in-tariffs encouraging the development of solar power installations – the country is also facing the problem as to where to situate solar power projects.

There is a shortage of tracts of land suitable for utility-scale solar power plants in Japan, leading developers to look into other areas to mount solar panels.

Plans are in place to develop floating installations totaling approximately 60 MW by the end of this fiscal year (March 31, 2015). All three of the companies involved in the Nishihira and Higashihira Ponds projects will cooperate in this endeavor with Kyocera supplying solar modules and being responsible for construction, maintenance and operation; Century Tokyo leasing providing financing, and Ciel et Torre responsible for the floating solar platforms.