Visit to Plant

79MW Solar Plant Achieves Utilization Rate of 17.6% in Tohoku (page 2)

2x areal efficiency, 1.6x overloading by setting up more than 1MW per 1ha

2019/06/24 17:59
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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'Integrates accumulated design knowhow'

"It has already been eight years since the great earthquake," Yamada said emotionally. "This mega-solar project is a pioneer of the newborn Wataricho approach we are pushing forward with across the town. As I see the spectacular view of the panels set up across the site, I feel as if I can see the future of the town."

"We will strive to operate the plant stably every day for more than 20 years from now so we can contribute to local recovery and development through our mega-solar business," said Makiko Sano, vice president of Yamasa.

The project cost of the Watari Solar Power Plant amounts to about 20 billion yen (approx US$186 million). Yamasa started construction in June 2017 and began operation on March 2, 2019. Yurtec Co Inc provided engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services.

Kyocera Corp's polycrystalline silicon-type (280W/unit) and Solar Frontier KK's CIS compound-type (175W/unit) solar panels, 1,667kW and 1,000kW PV inverters of Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC) and SMA Solar Technology AG of Germany, as well as foundations and mounting systems manufactured by Schletter Japan KK were adopted (Fig. 3 & 4).

Fig. 3: Kyocera solar panels (280W/unit) (source: Nikkei BP)

Fig. 4: TMEIC 1,667kW-output PV inverters (source: Nikkei BP)

Yamasa entered the mega-solar development market in 2013. Although Yamasa is not a pioneer among those companies that embarked on solar power generation in the wake of the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme, it has become Japan's largest class solar power developer, being engaged in projects with a total grid capacity of about 500MW or a total panel capacity of about 700MW including those being planned or constructed.

The Watari Solar Power Plant is the largest-class project among Yamasa's solar plants in operation. Furthermore, the plant has incorporated efforts to boost business performance as Shinichi Sano, president of Yamasa, describes, "We have integrated in this project the mega-solar design knowhow that we have accumulated thus far."