Visit to Plant

Solar Plant Leverages Lessons From Thunderbolt (page 2)

Cost-cutting efforts include weeding measures

2014/07/13 18:57
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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Daiichi Jitsugyo could construct the plant while having to barely develop the land. It only added some drainage because the site had originally been flattened and had even been provided with some drainage and a balancing reservoir (Fig. 3).

Changed way of using weeding sheets

In turn, Daiichi Jitsugyo also made some changes leveraging its experience at Kasama Solar Power Plant. The weeding method was one of those changes.

The company deployed a method that spreads crushed stones over the weeding sheets at Kasama Solar Power Plant. The crushed stones were expected to not only fix the weeding sheets in place but also protect them.

At Iida Solar Power Plant, on the other hand, Daiichi Jitsugyo lowered construction and other costs by using only weeding sheets without crushed stones on them. The sheets, which are simply placed on the ground, were fixed with screws, positioned at short intervals, into the ground (Fig. 4).

As the wind carried dirt and weed seeds that later started to grow between the crushed stones at Kasama Solar Power Plant, the company this time did not overlay the sheets with stones. The weeding sheet's effect would not be fully achieved if weeds grew from the upper side of the sheets.

Should the weeding sheets be laid without stones on them, dirt and weed seeds carried by the wind could be washed away from the sheets. Weeding sheets are made of plastic and might accordingly deteriorate during the twenty years of power generation business. Daiichi Jitsugyo, however, estimates the cost to replace the old sheets with new ones would be lower than the cost to overlay the sheets with crushed stones or remove weeds.

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