EV Charger Installed at 2MW Solar Plant in Fukushima

2014/04/24 14:53
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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Resorttrust Inc completed the construction of a mega (large-scale) solar power plant with an output capacity of about 2MW in an unused area of its resort complex at the end of March 2014.

The resort complex is "Grand XIV Nasu Shirakawa." Yasui Architects & Engineers Inc is responsible for the design and supervision of the plant, "Resorttrust Mega Solar Nasu Shirakawa," while Kinden Corp constructed the plant. Resorttrust employed Panasonic Corp's solar panel and Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp's (TMEIC) PV inverter.

For the mega solar plant, a charging facility was installed in case of emergency. Electricity generated at a mega solar plant is usually transmitted to a power grid. But during a power failure caused by, for example, a disaster, it becomes impossible to transmit electricity. In such a case, the charging facility automatically starts operations, enabling to charge electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles (EVs and PHVs) with electricity from the mega solar plant.

Resorttrust owns an EV (Mitsubishi Motors Corp's "i-MiEV"). And the company will lend the EV and charging facility for free to a local government (Nishigo-mura) in a time of emergency so that they can be used as measures to deal with natural disasters. By using a power outlet inside the EV, it becomes possible to charge a mobile phone or power an electric appliance.

At the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake, it was not possible to secure fuel (gasoline and light oil) for relief vehicles owned by local public offices, causing delay in rescue activities. Based on the lessons from it, Resorttrust installed the charging facility in case of emergency.