SB Energy Corp started operations of a 1.6MW mega-solar (large-scale solar) power plant at SoftBank Yaita Solar Park in Yaita City, Tochigi Prefecture, Dec 26, 2013.
SB Energy (Minato Ward, Tokyo) is affiliated with the SoftBank group. In the park, there has already been a 3MW solar plant in operation. Therefore, 4.6MW of solar power plants are currently in operation there. For the new plant, Sharp Corp provided EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) services. SB Energy employed Sharp's polycrystalline silicon solar panel and Daihen Corp's PV inverter.
SoftBank Yaita Solar Park is located in Yaita Minami Industrial Park, which is owned by the government of Tochigi Prefecture. For the industrial park, the government called for power producers from the public in the past.
In addition to SB Energy, Sharp built a 1.75MW solar power plant and started operation of the plant in an area located across the road from SoftBank Yaita Solar Park in March 2013. Therefore, there are currently 6.35MW of solar power plants in operation in the industrial park.
SB Energy and Sharp built an observation deck that allows to view the entire mega-solar plants on an adjacent hill and donated it to the government of Yaita City. Also, SB Energy donated two sets of the "Solar Storage," which consists of a 1kW solar panel and 1.1kW portable rechargeable battery for emergency use, to the city government.
"Tochigi Prefecture has a goal of increasing the ratio of regionally produced and consumed energy to 10% or higher," said Tomikazu Fukuda, the governor of Tochigi Prefecture, at the ceremony to celebrate the start-up of the new plant. "So, we will promote the use of small hydroelectric generation, biomass-based power generation and so forth in addition to mega-solar plants."
The ratio of regionally produced and consumed energy in the prefecture is currently about 6%. But the total power generation capacity of the solar power plants in the industrial park (6.35MW) is expected to account for about 15% of the amount of power consumed in Yaita City.