10MW mega-solar plant in mountains
The town of Sayocho in southwest Hyogo Prefecture was a key transport hub where the Izumo-kaido Road meets the Inba-kaido Road, and it prospered as the largest post station on the Inaba-kaido Road during the Edo period. Along with reminders of those days such as the streetscape and historical sites, the town boasts abundant nature with forests accounting for about 80% of its entire area.
In July 2019, "Sayo IDEC Hidetani Solar Power Plant," a mega-solar (large-scale) power plant with an output of 10MW, began operation in the mountains about 1km to the southeast of JR Sayo Station in the town.
Panels are arrayed in an orderly manner across a flat area surrounded by forest slopes at the Hidetani Solar Power Plant. Viewed from south, the panels' blue surfaces reflect the light and give the impression of a lake (Fig. 1).
Solar panels made by JA Solar Co Ltd of China and PV inverters manufactured by Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC) were adopted. IDEC Systems and Controls Corp (Osaka City), a subsidiary of IDEC Corp which handles control devices, etc, provided engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for the plant.
The power producer is Sayo IDEC Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) financed by Sayocho and IDEC. In October 2014, the LLP also constructed "Sayo IDEC Mosuyama Solar Power Plant" (output: 5MW), which it operates. The Sayo IDEC Hidetani Solar Power Plant is the company's second mega-solar project.