Clean Power Kagoshima Solar Plant

Published on April 11th, 2012 | by Charis Michelsen


70-MW Solar Power Plant (Japan’s Largest) to Go Online in Kagoshima

April 11th, 2012 by  

Kagoshima Solar Plant

With all but one of its nuclear power plants offline, Japan is looking for cleaner and greener ways to produce electricity that won’t explode in the case of a natural disaster. Kyocera Corporation, IHI Corporation, and Mizuho Corporate Bank have reached a basic agreement in that regard, planning to build a 70-MW solar power plant in the country’s southern region.

The plant is supposed to revitalize the local area in Kagoshima City (of Kagoshima Province), and in addition to the three companies forming the basic agreement, it has the support and cooperation of the Kagoshima prefectural and municipal governments.

27 Baseball Stadiums

The plant will be built on 314 acres of land owned by IHI (enough to build 27 baseball stadiums) using 290,000 Kyocera multicrystalline solar modules. It is now the largest officially announced solar power plant in Japan, and is supposed to make enough electricity for 22,000 average (Japanese) households. Current calculations estimate that it will offset 25,000 tons of carbon emissions each year.

The solar power project is supposed to make use of each company’s distinctive strengths — Kyocera has had over 3 decades in the solar power industry, IHI promotes renewable power, and Mizuho has been fairly successful at the whole banking and finance thing. While their powers combined don’t quite make Captain Planet, a massive solar array in Kagoshima is a much more useful way to resolve power supply issues caused by the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake.

The Basic Numbers

  • Project name: Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega-Solar Power Plant (tentative name)
  • Participating companies: Kyocera Corporation; IHI Corporation; Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd.
  • Supporting companies: KDDI Corporation; Kyudenko Corporation; Kagoshima Bank, Ltd.; Takenaka Corporation
  • Power output: 70MW (largest in Japan, as of April 9, 2012; based on officially announced projects)
    • The power generated is envisioned to be purchased by Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc. in line with the Japanese Bill on Special Measures Concerning Procurement of Renewable Energy Sourced Electricity by Electric Utilities.
  • Location: 2 Nanatsujima, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
  • Area: 314 acres
  • Total investment: 25 billion yen
  • Project timeline: July 2012 – Start of construction

Questions or comments? Let us know below!

Source & Image: Business Wire

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About the Author

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.

  • Shamblet

    how long will it take to complete this project estimated? 

  • Balkanvelo

    Dear Sirs , via my partner in Colombo I got information that
    Japan need investors for solar projects 200 -500 MGW power .I am interested to
    invest in big wind and solar projects in JAPAN .

    Please send me summary and contact with autorize person.

    Best regards

  • Zer0Sum

    With the spent fuel rod pools at Fukushima precariously close to catching alight they need all the good news they can get right now…

  • Roma

    Lukealization, it’s true Japan doesn’t have too much flat land lying around. However, this project is worth it. At 5 kW a pop, it would take 14,000 solar installs on homes to install 70 mWs. Now how long would that take?

    Fact of the matter is that Japan needs everything – distributed generation, solar farms, wind, hydro, etc.

    This project has the potential to spearhead the solar industry in Japan significantly.

    • lukealization

      I never said this project was bad. I totally support it, it’s great news… As for you’re point about rooftop solar, I can agree with that, but it may be moot as I have a reply from Zach that actually confirms that *nearly* all new buildings MUST have rooftop solar anyway now…

      Yep, Japan needs all the energy it can get – an ‘all of the above’ option is appropriate, in fact it’s hard to believe that they aren’t researching nuclear fusion like crazy!

      • Bob_Wallace

        Japan needs power now.

        Fusion is yet unproved. Once it is (if it is) demonstrated then it will still take many years to make it usable on a utility scale.

        Fusion continues to be 20 years from now….

        Japan needs to drop a big HVDC line south to islands that get a lot of sunshine in the winter. The Asian Desertec.

        • lukealization

          If we invested more money in fusion, we could make it feasible much quicker – instead of the USA spending hundreds of billions on wars, for example.

          Actually as another task (although massively huge), they’re current grid is split in to a 50Hz AC portion and a 60Hz AC portion, would be to fix that up over a few decades into a a single grid.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Do you have any evidence that fusion research is badly under funded?

            Japan can hook their grids together quickly with a AC-DC-AC link as is used with HVDC transmission.

  • lukealization

    Great news! I love solar energy, I think it’s a fantastic and beautifully elegant power source – but I’m going to come out and say it. 70MW hardly compares to your average Japanese NPP, which is around 2GW – to install a solar farm with a baseload capacity of a 2GW NPP, they’d need 314 x (2000 / 70) acres of land… 8,971 acres, a square more than 6km long and wide.

    Now, I’m not comparing this to nuclear directly at all, which would definitely be larger due to mining and material transportation etc. – but the key here is this is done in other countries.

    Japan is rather unlucky in this case, they have a very modernized high-tech nation requiring alot of power, but don’t have the land resources to generate it very effectively.

    I’m a strong advocate for solar energy. I’m an even stronger advocate for rooftop solar, as it makes use of existing space.They should start investing heavily in the latter, and also follow the UK’s lead on offshore wind farm development – build dozens of London Arrays (1GW) and Atlantic Arrays (1.5GW) and Dogger Banks (9GW) off the Japanese Coast. Today. Now.

    • If i’m not mistaken, i think the country is requiring solar on all new buildings (except in odd cases). But i have to search around for that again to make sure i’m not remembering smth wrong.

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