World’s largest floating solar plant is being built in Japan

Due to the lack of soil for the construction of PV plants, the Japanese company Kyocera has thought to build one on a water reservoir. This is the result.

50,000 photovoltaic panels installed over a water surface of 180,000 square metres. These are the dimensions of what will be – once completed – world’s largest floating solar plant. The plant, that is being realised by the Japanese company Kyocera in the Prefecture of Chiba will generate 13.7 MW of power and provide about 5,000 households with clean electricity.


japan solar plant
The floating plant realised in the Prefecture of Chiba.


After the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the Japanese Government decided to invest in renewables – which are certainly safer than nuclear power – also in view of the increasing request of the Japanese citizens.


This is not the first project of this kind. A smaller plant similar to the one that is being constructed by Kyocera is already operational in the city of Okegawa, in the Prefecture of Saitama. The company itself explains why these solar plants are being build: “With the decrease in tracts of land suitable for utility-scale solar power plants in Japan due to the rapid implementation of solar power Kyocera TCL Solar has been developing floating solar power plants since 2014”.


A recent image of the large floating solar plant.


Kyocera is famous for finding space where seemingly there is no space, not only on water reservoirs. Indeed it recently developed projects for two PV plants on abandoned golf courses. The two plants will generate more than 125,000 MW yearly and provide energy to almost 40,000 households.


The growth of Japan’s solar market is confirmed by a recent report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, according to which solar installations are expected to peak this year: between 13.2 GW to 14.3 GW of panels are going to be added. This result was made possible thanks to a programme aimed to incentivise the installation of solar plants in the country. However, the report says that the annual installed capacity will gradually decrease in 2017 due to challenges in grid connection and land acquisition.

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