Snowy Prefecture Runs 1MW Solar Plant as Experimental Effort

2014/01/09 14:10
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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The Enterprise Bureau of Yamagata Prefectural Government started operation of a 1MW mega-solar (large-scale solar) power plant in Tateoka, Murayama City, Yamagata Prefecture, Dec 25, 2013.

The mega-solar plant, "Prefectural Solar Power Plant," was built on a site that was previously used as an agricultural testing station (Murayama Farmland). The government installed test solar panels at the Water Treatment Plant of Murayama Wide-area Water Supply System at four different heights/angles in December 2011 and has carried out field tests.

Based on the results of the tests, the Enterprise Bureau built its first mega-solar plant as an experimental effort in the area where a relatively large amount of snow accumulates and there are fewer hours of sunlight.

The site of the Prefectural Solar Power Plant was divided into several areas, and prefectural, domestic and foreign solar panels were installed basically at an angle of 30° (some are at an angle of 40°). Their heights are 1.8m in consideration of snow cover. And four types of foundations made of steel or concrete were installed.

The government plans to publicize knowledge and data obtained from the plant. The project costs about ¥500 million (approx US$4.8 million). It expects that the plant will generate 1,050MWh of electricity per year, which is equivalent to the amount of electricity consumed by about 310 households per year.

The government also installed solar power generation facilities on the roof of the administrative building of the "Yusurube Water Treatment Plant for Sakata Industrial Waterworks," which is run by the Enterprise Bureau, in fiscal 2012 in the aim of reducing costs and securing an emergency power supply in case of power outage. Also, it is now considering installing solar power generation facilities at other water treatment plants.