Number of Sheep Increased to Boost Weeding Efficiency at Solar Plant
Herbicide used proactively in areas with no sheep
On May 29, 2019, at the "Nikke Machinaka Power Plant Akashi Tsuchiyama," a mega- (large-scale) solar power plant with a total output of about 17MW in Inamicho, Kako-gun, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, the five sheep being grazed within the plant site were sheared (Fig. 1).
The site had an idyllic atmosphere which is barely seen at typical solar power plants.
The Japan Wool Textile Co Ltd (Nikke), the power producer of this mega-solar plant, used a former short-distance golf course "Nikke Golf Club Tsuchiyama Center" as the site for the plant (Fig. 2, See related article).
The power plant consists of Phase 1 equivalent to about 11MW, which started operation in October 2013, and Phase 2 equivalent to about 6MW, which started operation in February 2014. At the Phase 2 area, additional solar panels equivalent to about 192kW were set up on an adjacent former parking space in 2018.