Kyocera Corporation, Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation and Ciel et Terre International will begin construction this month on what they say is the world’s largest floating solar installation. Kyocera TCL Solar will develop and operate utility-scale floating solar power plants utilizing Ciel et Terre’s Hydrelio floating solar platforms in two installations, totaling 2.9 megawatts (MW) at Nishihira Pond and Higashihira Pond in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. The 1.7 MW plant planned at Nishihira Pond will become the world’s largest solar power generating system installed on water.
Kyocera and Century Tokyo Leasing jointly established Kyocera TCL Solar LLC in August 2012 for the purpose of constructing and operating multiple utility-scale solar power plants in Japan under the country’s feed-in-tariff system, which commenced in July 2012. Since the company launch, it has constructed 28 solar power plants, of which 11 plants have begun operation.
Kyocera notes that due to the rapid implementation of solar power, securing tracts of land suitable for utility-scale solar power plants is becoming more difficult in Japan. In addition to ground-mount systems and rooftop systems for factory buildings and warehouses, Kyocera TCL Solar will start the floating solar power generation business utilizing the country’s abundant water surfaces. Due to great variation in the amount of rainfall by season, there are many reservoirs throughout Japan for agricultural and flood-control purposes.
Kyocera TCL Solar plans to develop floating installations for reservoirs in the country totaling approximately 60MW by the end of this fiscal year (March 31, 2015). The installations will utilize floating solar platforms developed and patented by Ciel et Terre, which have a proven record of success during more than three years of operation in France.