Visit to Plant

Cutting-edge 'Self-consumption Mega Solar Plant' Begins Operation

20% renewable energy ratio with 'response control'

2019/07/08 17:25
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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Self-consumption solar plants built in series in factory sites

Tatebayashi City of Gunma Prefecture, Japan, has long prospered as the castle-town of Tatebayashi Castle and is part of the Kanto Inland Industrial Zone with manufacturing thriving in the region as well. DIC Corp's Tatebayashi Plant also constitutes part of the zone and produces coloring for plastic and other products in the Tobu Industrial Park.

In February 2019, a mega- (large-scale) solar power plant with an output of 1.27MW began operation in this plant site. Given that there is little grid capacity left in the northern Kanto region including Tatebayashi City, no commercial solar plants have been connected with the grid for the last few years in the region. Nevertheless, DIC could construct and start running a mega-solar plant there because it is a "self-consumption-type solar plant" where all generated power is used within the plant without using the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: Solar power generation system launched at DIC Tatebayashi Plant (source: DIC)

In January 2019, DIC started operating self-consumption-type solar plants at five of its operations in series in Japan. Among those solar facilities, the one at Tatebayashi Plant was the largest (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2: All generated power used for self-consumption without reverse power flow (source: Nikkei BP)

In fact, DIC had adopted mega-solar, biomass and wind farm facilities at its Kashima Plant (Kamisu City, Ibaraki Prefecture) as well as a biomass facility at its Hokuriku Plant (Hakusan City, Ishikawa Prefecture) ahead of these five operations. DIC has accelerated the adoption of renewable energy facilities at its operations in order to facilitate business growth and sharply cut CO2 emissions at the same time.