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Mon Apr 27, 2015, 05:10 PM

Two enormous floating solar power plants have just opened in Japan

ScienceAlert.com 22 APR 2015

Two massive floating solar power plants have just been completed in Japan, ready to power 1,000 homes without taking any electricity from the grid.

The ‘mega-plant’ is just one of a number of moves the country is making to increase its reliance on sustainable energy sources since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Over the past few years, Japan has managed to double its solar power capacity, and if plants like these are as efficient as they’re expected to be, there’s no reason why it can’t continue to tip the balance in favour of renewable energy sources.

The plants are located on the Nishihira and Higashihira Ponds in Kato City, which is part of the Hyōgo Prefecture of Japan. Built by energy company, Kyocera Corporation, and the Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation, the plants were installed in just seven months, and according to Liat Clark at Wired UK, together their 11,250 modules are expected to generate 3,300 megawatt hours (MWh) every year.

And while floating sounds a little more difficult than building a solar array on the nice, hard ground, there are actually many benefits to suspending all your solar panels on the surface of a lake. Firstly, in a country like Japan, where land space is scarce, taking up water space is the perfect solution. The plant is also typhoon-proof, and because it uses the water below to cool itself, is actually more energy-efficient than if it was built on the land...
MORE: http://www.sciencealert.com/two-enormous-floating-solar-power-plants-have-just-opened-in-japan

Kyocera TCL Solar Inaugurates Floating Mega Solar Power Plants in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan

Published on Apr 16, 2015

Kyocera Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation announced today that Kyocera TCL Solar LLC, a joint venture established by the two companies, has completed construction of two floating mega-solar power plants at Nishihira Pond and Higashihira Pond in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. The plants, inaugurated in late March, will generate an estimated 3,300 megawatt hours (MWh) per year in total— enough electricity to power approximately 920 typical households*.


1. Floating solar power generating systems typically generate more electricity than ground-mount and rooftop systems due to the cooling effect of the water.
2. They reduce reservoir water evaporation and algae growth by shading the water.
3. Floating platforms are 100% recyclable, utilizing high-density polyethylene, which can withstand ultraviolet rays and resists corrosion.
4. The floating platforms are designed and engineered to withstand extreme physical stress, including typhoon conditions.

* Based on average annual use of 3,600kWh per household. Source: Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan

Existing Kyocera plant at Kagoshima

Related: Kyocera to build 13.4-megawatt floating solar power plant near Tokyo

OSAKA – Japanese photovoltaic cell maker Kyocera Corp. said Monday it will build a 13.4-megawatt floating solar power plant in a joint venture at a dam in Chiba Prefecture.

The joint venture with Century Tokyo Leasing Corp. plans to start operation of the plant in March 2016 with about 50,000 solar power generation modules installed on the water surface of the Yamakura Dam in Ichihara.

All the electricity generated at the plant will be sold to Tokyo Electric Power Co. for an estimated ¥450 million a year...

Japan is becoming energy independent and moving towards a hydrogen society while the US looks for another bombing target. "Frack Baby Frack"- The energy policy of the only Democratic Presidential Candidate (so far).

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Reply Two enormous floating solar power plants have just opened in Japan (Original post)
nationalize the fed Apr 2015 OP
NYC_SKP Apr 2015 #1
Bill USA Apr 2015 #2
NickB79 Apr 2015 #3

Response to nationalize the fed (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 05:14 PM

1. Hydrogen is just an energy carrier, not an energy source, and less efficient than batteries.


What the Japanese do on an entirely experimental scale with hydrogen does not scale up well.

And their home hydrogen conversion units operate with the city natural gas infrastructure already there.

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Response to nationalize the fed (Original post)

Tue Apr 28, 2015, 05:44 PM

2. Wow!

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Response to nationalize the fed (Original post)

Tue Apr 28, 2015, 09:29 PM

3. And the cost to build this to power these 1,000 homes is?

It's not readily apparent in the article how much this installation cost. That is a very vital piece of information that no one seems to want to discuss in any of the articles linked.

And in the meantime, Japan is embarking on a coal-burning construction boom that dwarfs this 2.9MW installation: http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/as-u-s-shutters-coal-plants-china-and-japan-are-building-them/

According to a Japanese environmental group, the Kiko Network, there are 43 coal-fired power projects under construction or planned to be built to replace the loss of nuclear power capacity shuttered due to the accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

If you conservatively estimate that each plant "only" averages 700 MW (though most coal-fired plants go far larger than this), you're looking at something along the lines of 30,000 MW of coal.

They're gonna need more solar panel islands.......

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