Visit to Plant

1.7MW Solar Plant Overcomes Snow Cover, Frost Heave in Aomori

Loss kept to minimum despite breakdown of PV inverter's cooling system

2019/04/02 23:56
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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The "Hachinohe Mega Solar Power Plant," a mega- (large-scale) solar power plant with a solar panel capacity of approximately 1.7MW and a PV inverter rated capacity of 1.5MW, is located in the corner of Hachinohe City Kita-Inter Industrial Park in Hachinohe City, Aomori Prefecture, Japan (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: Located in former Tohoku Plant in Hachinohe City industrial park. Aerial photo shot before expansion. (source: Kyokuto Kaihatsu Kogyo)

This solar plant was developed and is operated by Kyokuto Kaihatsu Kogyo Co Ltd, a manufacturer of custom-designed vehicles such as dump trucks, tanker lorries and garbage trucks, on its former Tohoku Plant. The plant buildings are leased to logistics companies as warehouses. About five and a half years have passed since the mega-solar plant started selling power in September 2013 (See related article).

This is the company's second mega-solar power plant to start operation. Its first plant is in the Fukuoka Plant site in Iizuka City, Fukuoka Prefecture, with a solar panel capacity of 1.5MW and a PV inverter capacity of 1.3MW (Fig. 2). The plant began operation in March 2013.

Fig. 2: Power plant in factory site in Iizuka City, Fukuoka Prefecture (source: Kyokuto Kaihatsu Kogyo)

At both mega-solar plants, Hayamizu Co Ltd (Kobe City) provided design and procurement services while a joint venture (JV) formed by Solar Frontier KK (Minato-ku, Tokyo), Hayamizu and Obayashi Road Corp constructed both plants, adopting solar panels of Solar Frontier and PV inverters of Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC).

Aeon Delight Co Ltd, a management company of a leading distributor, the Aeon Group, operates and maintains (O&M) both power plants. Aeon Delight has accumulated experience in rooftop solar systems on Aeon stores, for example. Contracted O&M services include maintenance and management by chief electrical engineers at both sites.

The mega-solar plant in Hachinohe City initially sold power to Tohoku Electric Power Co Inc at 40 yen/kWh (excluding tax) based on the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme, and has now changed the purchaser to a power producer and supplier (PPS) of Daiwa House Industry Co Ltd.