Fukushima-financed Firm Launches 1.2MW Solar Project

2013/12/04 15:53
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute

The government of Fukushima Prefecture will build and operate a mega-solar (large-scale solar) power plant with an output power of 1.2MW on the property of the Fukushima Airport.

It had a ground-breaking ceremony Dec 2, 2013, planning to begin operation of the plant in March 2014. The capital of Fukushima Hatsuden, which is the business operator, is ¥98.5 million (approx US$960,694). Of the capital, the government invests ¥45 million and considers a fund to be financed by local financial institutions, companies and prefectural residents.

The power plant is positioned as (1) a base for promoting the "Power Generation Project Using Renewable Energies," (2) the core facility of the "Next-generation Energy Park" and (3) a symbol of the reconstruction of Fukushima Prefecture, which acts under the slogan "Let's start from Fukushima."

The government will install 30 kinds of solar panels and operate and evaluate the plant for a long term in cooperation with Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). Also, it will test and evaluate advanced mounting systems. The government plans to build up know-how and experience necessary for starting a renewable-energy business and to receive support for starting the business from the region.

AIST is currently building the "Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute," an R&D base for renewable energies, in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture, planning to open it in April 2014. Also, Toshiba Corp will donate 500kW of solar panels manufactured by SunPower Corp and a 500kW PV inverter to the mega-solar plant.