Kyocera to Start Building Floating Solar Energy Project

Kyocera to Start Building Floating Solar Energy Project

Kyocera Corporation, Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation , and Ciel et Terre International has announced that they will begin construction this month on the world’s largest floating solar installation.

Kyocera TCL Solar LLC will develop and operate utility-scale floating solar power plants utilizing Ciel et Terre’s Hydrelio© floating solar platforms in two installations, totaling 2.9 megawatts (MW) at Nishihira Pond and Higashihira Pond in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. The 1.7MW plant planned at Nishihira Pond will become the world’s largest solar power generating system installed on water.

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. Since the company launch, it has constructed 28 solar power plants, of which 11 plants have begun operation.

Due to the rapid implementation of solar power, securing tracts of land suitable for utility-scale solar power plants is becoming more difficult in Japan. In addition to ground-mount systems and rooftop systems for factory buildings and warehouses, Kyocera TCL Solar will start the floating solar power generation business utilizing the country’s abundant water surfaces. Due to great variation in the amount of rainfall by season, there are many reservoirs throughout Japan for agricultural and flood-control purposes.

Kyocera TCL Solar plans to develop floating installations for reservoirs in the country totaling approximately 60MW by the end of this fiscal year (March 31, 2015). The installations will utilize floating solar platforms developed and patented by Ciel et Terre, which have a proven record of success during more than three years of operation in France.

Under the business, Century Tokyo Leasing will provide finance for the installations, and the Kyocera Group will undertake the supply of solar modules and related equipment in addition to construction, maintenance and operation. Ciel et Terre will be responsible for the supply of floating solar platforms as well as technical input for installing the systems on water. Through the business, the companies hope to contribute to the expansion of renewable energy and development of a low carbon society.

Features of floating mega solar power plants

1. Generates more electricity than ground-mount and rooftop systems thanks to the cooling effect of the water.
2. Reduces reservoir evaporation and algae growth by shading the water.
3. Ciel et Terre’s floating platforms are 100% recyclable, utilizing high-density polyethylene which can withstand ultraviolet rays and corrosion.
4. A strong design and installation technology are used for the floating platforms to ensure durability against typhoons.

Press release, September 10, 2014; Image: Kyocera

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