Solar Plants Damaged by Typhoons in Summer (1)

Solar panels scattered at sites in mountains

2019/12/10 17:30
Kenji Kaneko & Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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4 typhoons damaged 29 sites according to accident report

Powerful typhoons hit Japan one after another this summer, the same as last year. Typhoon No. 15 landed in Chiba Prefecture Sept 9, 2019, and the strong winds caused a large-scale power failure. The powerful winds of Typhoon No. 17, which arrived later, caused damage to the northern part of the Kyushu region on September 22. Typhoon No. 19, which landed in Izu Peninsula on October 12, brought record high rainfalls to various regions in East Japan, causing significant flood damage.

The typhoons landed in and passed through areas with a comparatively large number of solar power plants, causing scattering of solar panels and flooding of sites at power plants along rivers.

In the problem column, cases of damage caused to solar power plants this summer will be reported in two parts, the first covering "strong winds" and the second covering "floods."

Large-scale solar power plants connected to high-voltage or extra-high voltage transmission lines with an output of 50kW or more to the grid are required to report accidents at their plants to the government (Industrial Safety and Inspection Department) in accordance with the Electricity Business Act. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) disclosed the reports on accidents caused by typhoons. According to the reports, one accident was caused by Typhoon No. 8, two by Typhoon No. 13, seven by Typhoon No. 15, one by Typhoon No. 17 and 18 by Typhoon No. 19.

Accidents caused by typhoons No. 8, 13, 15 and 17 are panels being torn off and scattered and destruction of mounting systems due to severe winds while accidents caused by Typhoon No. 19 were mainly water damage due to flooding. Among the 18 accidents reported for Typhoon No. 19, 16 were flood damage, with one case of panels being torn off due to powerful winds and one case of soil intrusion due to landslides.