Japan is worried about the environment and is working on shifting more of its energy generation to renewable sources. The country has come up with innovative ways to install distributed solar power. Last year they unveiled the floating solar power plant that will cover inland bodies of water like ponds and reservoir. Recently they began construction of the project.
The Japanese electronics company Kyocera has begun work on what will be the world’s largest floating solar power plant. The power plant is being built on Kamakura Dam reservoir to the south east of Tokyo in Japan and is anticipated to supply enough electricity for nearly 5,000 households when it is completed in early 2018. It will pump out 13.7 megawatts of power once completed. Approximately 51,000 photovoltaic panels will be stitched together to cover around 180,000 square meters of space.
In Japan where cities are dense and there isn’t much land, the only other option is water based solar power. There are three major benefits to marine solar tech. One, it’s a great way to gather up clean energy without taking up extra space. The second and probably the most important benefit is that water helps the solar panels perform better. The water keeps the panels cool, which allow them to operate more efficiently. The third benefit is the water itself. When panels are placed over reservoirs, the discourage water evaporation and algae growth, both of which keep the reservoirs fuller and healthier.
Kyocera has already built three floating solar farms, which are much smaller than the new one, which was first announced in October 2014. Kyocera spokesman Ichiro Ikeda said “There is great potential in carrying out solar power generation on these water surfaces.” As Japan’s goal of switching entirely to renewable energy sources by 2040, these floating solar panels could be a large step in the right direction.