Japan's Kyocera and Century Tokyo Leasing have joined forces to create Kyocera TCL Solar, a JV that will develop world's largest floating photovoltaic plant. The 13.4 MW PV plant will be floating over the Yamakura Dam reservoir waters.
The Public Enterprises Agency of Chiba Prefecture, which manage the reservoir, has selected the new company to undertake this project in part due to its experience and expertise in developing utility-scale solar power plants in Japan. The plant is expected to be operational in March 2016.
“When we first started R&D for solar energy in the mid 1970’s, the technology was only viable for small applications such as street lamps, traffic signs and telecommunication stations in mountainous areas,” stated Nobuo Kitamura, senior executive officer and general manager of the Corporate Solar Energy Group at Kyocera. “Since then, we have been working to make solar energy use more ubiquitous in society, and have expanded our business to residential, commercial and utility-scale solar applications. We are excited to work with our partners on this project, taking another step forward by utilizing untapped bodies of water as solar power generation sites.”
The floating plant will comprise about 50,000 PV modules provided by Kyocera which will be installed on a 180,000 m2 area to generate an estimated 15,635 MWh of electricity every year.
Under the plan, Kyocera TCL Solar will build and operate the installation, and Century Tokyo Leasing will provide project financing. The Kyocera Group will be responsible for the supply of solar modules and related equipment in addition to construction, operation and maintenance. The modules will be installed on floating platforms manufactured by France's Ciel et Terre, which is also supplying the platforms for a floating solar power plant project in Hyogo Prefecture currently being constructed by Kyocera TCL Solar.
By cooperating with local companies on construction and operation, and establishing an environmental education facility adjacent to the plant to provide environmental classes for local elementary school students, Kyocera and Century Tokyo Leasing hope that the project will play a role in the development of the local community. The companies are committed to promoting solar energy as a means to attain a low-carbon society.