Visit to Plant

Multi-level Hill Transformed Into Slope at Island Solar Plant (page 2)

Innovative measures for environment, soil in remote island

2020/02/12 13:47
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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The mega-solar plant on Fukuejima has some unique features that cannot be seen at the other solar power plants developed and being run by the Nippon Comsys Group. First, the solar panels are arrayed on a slope (Fig. 3). At the other plants, solar panels are basically set up on relatively flat areas.

Fig. 3: Solar panels set up on slope (source: Nikkei BP)

Previously, there was a pig farm on the power plant site in Fukuejima. At that time, the site had been developed into three levels. Comsys Create decided to commercialize a solar power plant on this site, overloading solar panels equivalent to about 1.26MW against a grid capacity of 1MW.

The site is on the border between a sloping hill and flat land, with mountain forest covering the hill on the upper side and rice paddies spreading across the adjacent site to the bottom in the surrounding area.

As the company started designing a solar power plant on this site, it found that not as many solar panels could be arrayed as planned if the site was kept as it was with three levels. This was because flat areas were limited, and the side slopes between the levels were too steep. In addition, due to factors including the effect of shade, it was difficult to set up as many panels and achieve as much power generation as planned on-site in the original state.

As a result, the company decided to reclaim the site eliminating the side slopes between the levels and making the entire site sloping. As the slope was made gentle enough to set up solar panels on it, Comsys Create could set up panels across the site and realize a layout to generate as much power as expected, setting up as many panels as planned.

The ground appearance gradually changes as it gets lower from the top (Fig. 4). The top area is relatively flat and covered by crushed stones. PV inverters and step-up transformers were set up there. The lower you down the slope, the steeper it gets, the amount of crushed stones decreases and the area of red soil increases.

Fig. 4: Top area covered by crushed stones and relatively flat while red soil areas increase and slope grows steeper as it gets lower (source: Nikkei BP)