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Extra-high-voltage Solar Plant Operating on North-facing Slope (page 5)

Almost no weeds even after 2 yrs of operation

2019/06/12 13:34
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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Weed barrier sheet covered with gravel

Hijidenki designs prioritizing safety and reliability in this manner based on its abundant experience in managing solar power plants equivalent to an output of more than 100MW reflecting its emphasis on O&M services as well as EPC services. The company considers boosting O&M efficiency will bring more business benefits over the long term even though its initial investment is greater to a certain degree.

Greatly appreciating their reliability, Hijidenki has also primarily adopted solar panels manufactured by REC of Norway and PV inverters of TMEIC at solar plants other than the Fujiwara Yurino Power Plant (Fig. 9).

Fig. 9: REC panels, TMEIC PV inverters adopted (source: Nikkei BP)

Hijidenki also adopted a comprehensive measure against weeds at the Fujiwara Yurino Power Plant. Although it has been two years since the plant began operation, no areas with panels have been weeded so far. The secret can no longer be seen after construction, but the company laid unwoven fabric-type weed barrier sheets across the site and covered the sheet with gravel up to a thickness of about 10cm (Fig. 10).

Fig. 10: Gravel spread over weed barrier sheets (source: Nikkei BP)

If weed barrier sheets are spread but exposed on the ground, their weeding effect is generally said to last no longer than 10 years due to damage by wind, rain, UV rays, and so forth.

"By covering the weed barrier sheets with a thick layer of gravel, we expect the weeding effect to last more than 10 years," Watanabe said (Fig. 11).

Fig. 11: One area in north site. Weed barrier sheet exposed on slope (source: Nikkei BP)

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