Japan to build world’s biggest floating solar farm

As Japan grapples with securing sustainable energy supplies after the Fukushima disaster, three companies there have joined forces to build the world’s largest floating solar plant.

Kyocera Corporation, Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation, and Ciel Terre Japan plan to build two solar power stations that float on reservoirs to get round the country’s shortage of land on which to build space-hungry solar facilities.

One station will have capacity of 1.7 megawatts, making it the world’s largest floating solar plant, the companies claimed.

It and a second 1.2-megawatt facility are scheduled to begin operating in April in the prefecture of Hyogo in Western Japan.

The companies said output from the floating panels is expected to be higher than from ground-mounted or rooftop panels thanks to the cooling effects of the water.

Century Tokyo Leasing will finance the installations, Kyocera will supply the solar modules and Ciel Terre will design the floating platforms.

Kyocera and Century Tokyo Leasing jointly established Kyocera TCL Solar LLC in August 2012 to take advantage of Japan’s new feed-in-tariff system. Since its launch the new company has built 28 solar power plants.

Kyocera TCL Solar plans to develop floating installations for reservoirs in the country totalling approximately 60MW by the end March 2015.

Ciel Terre says its high-density polyethylene platforms can endure typhoons, UV deterioration, and are 100% recyclable.

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