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Wooden Mounting System Employed for 1.3MW Solar Power Plant

2013/10/29 16:10
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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Sun Forest Co Ltd will build a mega-solar (large-scale solar) power plant in Taka-cho, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, and start operation of the plant in January 2014.

Sun Forest is a subsidiary of Hyogo Prefectural Federations of Forest Owners Cooperative Associations. They are both based in Kobe City, Japan.

Sun Forest will rent a site from Taka-cho and install solar panels on a mounting system using lumber produced in the prefecture. The panels will be supplied by Sharp Corp. And EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) services will be provided by NTT Facilities Inc. The mega-solar plant is named "Wooden Mounting System Mega-solar Taka Power Plant" for the promotion of the wooden mounting system.

The wooden mounting system was co-developed by Sun Forest and NTT Facilities. Square timbers are installed on concrete mounts. Because the timbers are not in contact with the ground, they are less likely to corrode.

Also, the square timbers were made by injecting preservative and repellent with pressure into Japanese cedar wood from trees that were cut for thinning in the prefecture. As a result, they became even more resistant to corrosion. The durability of the timbers is equivalent to the "K4" category on the Japanese Agricultural Standards. And they can be reused as wooden biomass chips.

The project costs ¥400 million (approx US$4.1 million), and the cost is covered mainly by loans from financial institutions.