Farming Solar Plant to Supply Electricity to Greenhouse

2020/02/07 21:21
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer
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The site of the project to establish a renewable-energy sharing model system (source: Fit)
All the electricity generated will be used in a hydroponic greenhouse. (source: Fit)

Fit Corp announced Jan 31, 2020, that it has received an order for "Self-consumption-type Solar Sharing (farming solar power plant)" in Akitakata City, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan.

Fit (Shibuya-ku, Tokyo) is a company that deals with clean energy-based power plants and standardized houses equipped with a solar power generation (PV) system for individual investors.

This is a project for realizing both agriculture and solar power generation by installing PV facilities in a wheat field. All the electricity generated with the facilities will be consumed in a greenhouse located adjacent to the power generation site. In the greenhouse, green onion is being hydroponically grown, requiring a large amount of electricity to power a water pump.

For the PV facilities, 288 solar panels (output: 330W each) manufactured by Jinkosolar Holding Co Ltd will be installed, realizing a total output of 95.04kW. The PV inverter employed for the plant is a product of Shindengen Electric Manufacturing Co Ltd.

According to Fit's estimates, the PV facilities will reduce the annual amount of electricity purchased by about 25% and the annual amount of CO2 emissions by about 60t. The company expects that the investment will be recouped in about five or six years.

Also, the fact that crops are grown by using a clean power source can be attractive to sales channels, making it easier to market them, the company said.

The project is selected for the "Subsidy for Covering the Costs of Projects for Reducing CO2 Emissions, Etc (Project for the Autonomous Promotion of the Use of Renewable Energy-derived Electricity/Heat)" of Japan's Ministry of the Environment. It is a project to establish a renewable-energy sharing model system and conducted by Topeko Obara (an agricultural producer based in Akitakata City, Hiroshima Prefecture). Half of the project cost is covered by the subsidy.

Thus far, Fit has established and sold more than 1,000 solar power plants (mainly low-voltage projects), and its knowhow in planning, cost reduction and management was highly evaluated, leading to the reception of the order, the company said.

It plans to propose cost reduction and environmentally-friendly management by analyzing the current statuses and problems of agricultural corporations and farmers by using knowhow in "self-consumption-type solar sharing" obtained from the project.