Solar Plant in Okayama Uses LED Lights to Scare Away Crows (1)

Crows gathering around barns cracked 26 panels

2019/07/08 19:02
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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The "PVNext EBH Misakicho Power Plant," a mega (large-scale) solar power plant with about 2.37MW of solar panel output and 1.98MW of grid output, is in the mountains of Misaki Town, Kume-gun, Okayama Prefecture, Japan (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: Roofs of barns seen beyond central panel block (source: Enbio Holdings)

The plant is operated by Vega Solar GK, a special purpose company (SPC), in which Enbio Holdings Inc holds all the shares. The power plant was developed jointly with Next Energy & Resources Co Ltd of Komagane City, Nagano Prefecture, which also held equity in the SPC. The sale price under the Feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme is 40 yen/kWh (excluding tax). After the start of power sale in September 2015, Enbio Holdings purchased the equity held by Next Energy & Resources in March 2018.

In 2019, a power plant with 97kW of solar panel output and 49.5kW of PV inverter output, which is connected to low-voltage transmission lines, was constructed on the plot that remained empty in the site (Fig. 2). The power sale price of this low-voltage solar power plant is 18 yen/kWh.

Fig. 2: Feasibility ensured at power sale price of 18 yen/kWh depending on place, according to company (source: Nikkei BP)

After the start of power sale, the operator was troubled by frequent cracking of cover glasses of solar panels at this mega solar power plant. The number of cracked solar panels has thus far reached 26 and they had to be replaced. The reason for the frequent cracking of cover glasses was obvious: crows carrying stones in their beaks dropped the stones on the solar panels.