West Energy Solutions, a subsidiary of West Holdings Corp. has great plans for creating a large floating solar plant in Japan. The Shin-Ike reservoir lies within the city of Kawanaihara, Kagawa-Chou, Takamatsu City in Japan. This body of water is large enough that the company will place a floating solar plant upon it.
The company is creating a 10,000 panel system, “Mega-Plant”, that will float on the surface of the reservoir. West Energy will be renting 250,000m² area of the lake to build the floating plant. The plant will be the largest floating plant in Japan, however, it isn’t the first plant to be built in Japan. The first floating plant in Japan was built to float in a city owned pond in Saitama Prefecture Okegawa. With a site area of 27,933m², the floating panels have an output of 1,179kw. The first farm was completed in July 2013.
The reservoir will be home to not one but three companies total. The full amount of output from the Mega Plants, equaling 8.1MW. West Energy is going to provide the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) services for the plant. The solar panels are set to begin power generation beginning July, 2016. The projected cost for the entire project will be near $6.49 million US dollars or ¥800 million.
Both the solar panel and the PV inverter are products of Toshiba-Mitsubishi Electric Industrial Systems corp. and West Holdings. Kyocera and Century Tokyo Leasing Corp. started operating the Hyogo Kasai City Sakasamaike Floating Mega Solar Power Plant that floats on the surface of Sakasamaike, with an output of roughly 2.3 MW. The output is roughly the consumption of 820 households.
This floating solar farm will exceed the output of Sakasamaike at 2.7MW, becoming Japans largest solar farm. In addition to providing a large sum of renewable energy to homes in Japan, the panels also block sunlight which helps dangerous algae and plants to grow in the water.