Visit to Plant

13 Sheep Eat Weeds at 2 Solar Plants in Kumamoto

Drainage measure added for exposed soil with no grass

2019/12/23 19:37
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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Mt. Aso rises 1,592m above sea level and has a huge caldera. The "Aso Namino Solar Energy Farm," a mega- (large-scale) solar power plant with a solar panel capacity of about 1.911MW and a grid capacity of 1.5MW, is located on a plateau where the foot of Mt. Aso meets the base of Mt. Kuju.

A unique scene that cannot be seen at other mega-solar plants exists at this plant: seven sheep grazing in the site (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: Seven sheep grazing at Aso Namino Solar Energy Farm (source: top JAG Energy, others Nikkei BP)

When the number amounts to this, the site looks as if it were a ranch with a flock of sheep. Among many solar power plants that give an inorganic impression, the sheep's lovable movement draws attention, in particular. The sheep run towards the gate as their keeper gets out of the car and approaches the entrance gate to the power plant. The sheep appeared to be quite attached to the keeper.

The mega-solar plant in Aso Namino was developed using a site that had originally been wildland and began operation in December 2015. Japan Asia Group Ltd developed and runs this mega-solar plant. The power producer is a special purpose company (SPC) formed by firms including JAG Energy Co Ltd (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) of the Japan Asia Group.