Visit to Plant

3 Large Heavy Vehicles Stationed for Snow Removal at Solar Plant in Aomori

1.3x overload achieved in snowy region through civil engineering, land reclamation

2020/02/18 14:11
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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20MW-output mega-solar plant begins operation in snowy region

The town of Shichinohemachi in eastern Aomori Prefecture, Japan, once prospered as the castle town of Shichinohe Castle and has now become a tourist gateway to the Hakkoda Mountains and Lake Towada, supported by Shichinohe-Towada Station on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line almost in the center of the town. It is famous for horse breeding as well as garlic and Chinese yam production.

SymEnergy Inc (Kobe City), a company engaged in solar and biomass power plant development and construction, constructed the "Shichinohemachi Sotsukozawa Solar Power Plant," a mega- (large-scale) solar power plant with a panel capacity of 19.6MW and a grid capacity of 15MW, in Shichinohemachi jointly with Orix Corp. A completion ceremony for the plant was held on December 3, 2019 and its operation began in January 2020 (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: 19.6MW-output Shichinohemachi Sotsukozawa Solar Power Plant (source: SymEnergy)

Facilities separately installed in 5 blocks

Approximately 58,000 solar panels were set up on about 48ha consisting of moorland, mountain forests and mixed-use areas in Sotsukozawa District of north Shichinohemachi. The plant is expected to generate roughly 20,000MWh per year, which is equivalent to the power consumption of about 5,550 general households. Aomori Shichinohe Mega Solar Power Plant GK, the power producer, is financed 65% by Orix and 35% by SymEnergy.

The joint venture of Obayashi Road Corp and SymEnergy Inc provided construction services. Solar panels manufactured by LG Electronics Inc of South Korea and PV inverters of Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC) were adopted (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2: Solar panels manufactured by LG Electronics of South Korea and TMEIC PV inverters adopted (source: Nikkei BP)

Eastern Shichinohemachi is relatively flat, with vast rice and vegetable fields and forests. At the completed Shichinohemachi Sotsukozawa Solar Power Plant, solar panels were orderly arrayed between the forests in five construction blocks from A to E in the flat developed area.

Each construction block is almost rectangular. From block A in the north end area, blocks B and C continue slightly southwards in a southeast direction while blocks D and E are adjacent to block C in the east.