Japan putting abandoned golf courses to use as solar farms

Japan’s passion for the game of golf, which reached a peak in the 1980s, has declined by 40% since. The result is that the country has a large number of disused courses, many of which may be converted into solar power plants.

One leader of the trend is Japanese company Kyocera Solar, which has formed a joint venture with Century Tokyo Leasing to build a plant with a peak output of 23MW on an abandoned course in Kyoto Prefecture in south-central Honshu.

When complete, the plant will become the largest solar power installation in the region, generating electricity for more than 8,000 local households.

Kyocera is also entering into a joint venture with three other companies to develop a 92MW solar plant at a site in Kagoshima Prefecture in the extreme south of Japan.

The course there was built more than 30 years ago but subsequently abandoned.

Many of the idle courses are also being reconsidered as sites for housing, parkland and a wide range of other commercial uses.

The plant in Kyoto prefecture is expected to go live in 2017.

Image: Artist’s rendering of the solar plant (Kyocera Solar)

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