Waterfowl Droppings, Anglers Vexing Floating Solar Plant in Hyogo
Plant washes off droppings, considers adopting security system against anglers
Inamicho, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, is located on a plain near Akashi to the east and Kakogawa to the west. There are many agricultural reservoirs across the town, and water surfaces of different sizes will come into view one after another as you stroll around the town. "Anazawaike" in Nodera of Inamicho is one of such reservoirs, and a solar power generation facility with a panel capacity of about 960kW is floating on its surface (Fig. 1).
The floating solar power plant on Anazawaike was developed at a cost of about 26.2 million yen and is expected to generate approximately 1,203,000kWh per year. It began operation in January 2019 and sells generated power at 18 yen/kWh (hereinafter, excluding tax) to Kansai Electric Power Co Inc based on the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme.
Sekisui House Ltd provided engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services. Solar panels of Infini Co Ltd (Naniwa-ku, Osaka City) and PV inverters manufactured by Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC) were adopted. As for floats to float solar panels and combiner boxes on the water, products of KK Environmental-Resources Development Consultant (Kita-ku, Osaka City) were adopted.
Taiyo Green Energy Co Ltd (Ranzanmachi, Saitama Prefecture) developed and runs the Anazawaike Floating Solar Power Plant (See related article). The company is a renewable energy-based power generator of the Taiyo Holdings Co Ltd (Taiyo HD) Group led by Taiyo Ink Mfg Co Ltd, a leading manufacturer of solder resist insulators for printed wiring boards.
In 2018, Taiyo Ink Mfg pledged to power the manufacturing of its products for Apple Inc of the US "100% using renewable energy." In November 2019, Taiyo HD also announced it had further realized a solar power generation scale "to meet about 100% of power consumption" by its group's overall operations in Japan beyond component manufacturing for Apple. What supports the group's approach is "Anazawaike" and other solar power plants that Taiyo Green Energy has developed and runs.
Taiyo HD's solar power plants are unique because they are all floating type. The total amount of expected power generation at its 10 floating solar power plants in operation has risen to about 16.1GWh per year. This reportedly corresponds to 110% compared with the entire group's power consumption in Japan. In daily operation, floating solar power plants have benefits that the on-ground-type plants lack, while they also require more attention for some points than at on-ground-type solar plants.