Visit to Plant

Power Producer Donates Park to Town, Wins Trust of Local Community (page 4)

2019/09/16 15:01
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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Clean Energies XXI (Daisencho, Tottori Prefecture), an SPC of Canadian Solar Projects, developed this mega-solar plant. This company was initially the power producer.

Canadian Solar Projects is one of the companies most actively developing solar power plants in Japan. Canadian Solar Infrastructure Fund Inc (CSIF, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo), which basically invests in the projects developed by Canadian Solar Projects, is listed on the infrastructure fund market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange Inc.

In September 2018, it was announced that the ownership of the mega-solar plant in Tottori Daisen had been transferred to CSIF after the operation began (See related article). As a result, Canadian Solar Asset Management KK, which manages CSIF's projects, became responsible for asset management, while Canadian Solar O&M Japan KK started providing operation and maintenance (O&M) services at both sites.

According to CSIF, the capacity factor of the mega-solar plant in Tottori Daisen was 11.18% in the first year after acquisition. The acquisition cost was 10.447 billion yen (approx US$96.9 million) while the investment ratio was 22.00%.

CSIF releases the power generation amount to the public every month (Fig. 5). According to the releases, power generation at the mega-solar plant in Tottori Daisen appears to be affected by the amount of snow cover in winter as expected.

Fig. 5: Monthly power generation in September 2018 forward, estimates in orange, results in red (source: CSIF)

A series of heavy snow falls occurred on the Sea of Japan side in the winter of 2017/2018 immediately after the operation began. No facilities were damaged, and the power plant safely continued to generate power. However, the snow that fell on the ground accumulated up to the lowest part of the solar panels and apparently affected power generation.

In the following year, CSIF revealed the amount of power generation at the mega-solar site in Daisencho fell below the monthly estimate in December 2018 due to snow cover and the short hours of sunlight during the month. The actual power generation was no more than 781,800kWh, 65.42% compared with the estimated 1,194,987kWh.

However, in May 2019, the amount of power generation soared to 4,168,100kW, a large upswing by 131.72% compared with the estimated 3,164,285kW. It appears the amount of power generation tends to outperform estimates on average throughout a year.

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