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Wooden Mounting System Brings Down Cost of Solar Power Plant (page 3)

Costs less than steel systems, easier to handle

2014/03/01 18:59
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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The West Holdings group, which provided engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) service for the overall solar power generation system, built the steel mounting systems. But the installation cost per 1kW was lower with the wooden mounting system that Sumitomo Forestry assembled.

Moreover, many workers claimed "the installation work was easier with the wooden system because its materials were lighter than expected." As a result, it turned out that the workers feel less burdened when setting up the wooden mounting systems compared with the steel ones.

As for other benefits of the wooden mounting system, Sumitomo Forestry cited that it is, unlike steel systems, free of decay caused by salt even along the coast, and it can be effectively used as a fuel for biomass power generation when removing it upon the completion of solar power generation business 20 years later. From now, Sumitomo Forestry plans to propose the use of the wooden mounting system across Japan, providing structural calculations in accordance with the location where it will be installed as well as proposals in view of effective use of local materials.

As the job creation effect is negligible at mega (large-scale) solar power plants, it is always a challenge how to contribute to local communities. The wooden mounting system that can utilize local timber is also likely to be focused on from that viewpoint.