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Solar Plant Constructed on Historic Pollution Site

2013/12/09 19:47
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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Furukawa Co Ltd completed construction of a 1MW mega-solar (large-scale solar) power plant on the site of a former sulfuric acid plant of Ashio Smeltery (Ashio-machi, Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture) Nov 28, 2013.

When the the feed-in tariff (FIT) program was implemented in Japan in July 2012, the company started to consider entering the renewable energy business.

Even before the implementation of the program, Furukawa was considering how to effectively use its unused land in the Ashio districtin in an environmentally friendly way. And it decided to build the power plant, "Ashio Office Solar Power Plant," on the site of the sulfuric acid plant, whose facilities were demolished in October 2010.

With an output power of 1MW, the plant is expected to generate about 850,000kWh of electricity per year on average for 20 years. It started to generate and transmit power Dec 2, 2013, selling all the electricity to Tokyo Electric Power Company Inc (TEPCO).

In the Ashio district, the Ashio Copper Mine Incident occurred in the late 19th century as the first of the series of pollution problems in Japan. After the closure of the mine, trees were planted to restore the waste forest. With the new mega-solar plant, the site will be effectively used in an environmentally friendly way as a base to produce "new energy."