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1.75MW Solar Plant Built on Inactive Water Purification Plant

2014/03/28 22:21
Kiyotaka Nakanishi, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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The government of Toyama Prefecture completed a 1.75MW mega-solar (large-scale solar) power plant in Toyama City, Toyama Prefecture, Japan.

The plant, "Jinzu River Water Purification Plant Solar Power Plant," is located on the site of an inactive water purification plant located along the Jinzu River. On the site measuring 2.9ha, 7,248 solar panels were installed. The expected amount of electricity to be generated per year is 2,089,000kWh, which is equivalent to the amount used by 580 households.

The construction cost is ¥722 million (approx US$7.06 million). The government expects to achieve revenue of about ¥1.6 billion from power sales in 20 years.

Solar panels were set up not only on empty lots around the water purification plant but on the setting basin that removes impurities in the river water by sedimentation. The panels on the basin are equipped with a snow melting system that uses flowing water and tilted at an angle of 5° to reduce shaded area and ensure a large installation area.

Though only about 10% of the solar power plant's panels were set up on the setting basin, the government expects to increase the amount of electricity generated, taking advantage of the fact that they eliminate the need for drainage equipment for the snow melting system.

The water purification plant was producing water for industrial use. But it stopped operations in 2000 as demand decreased. The government intends to effectively use the site and pay the fee for the maintenance of the water purification plant, etc by using revenue from electricity sales.