A Japanese joint venture is set to build what could be the world’s largest floating solar project – a 2.9MW PV plant in Hyogo Prefecture, west Japan.
Japanese solar company Kyocera announced the project on its website this week, which it began developing in 2o12, in conjunction with local real estate and industry group, Century Tokyo Leasing, shortly after the introduction of Japan’s solar feed-in tariff (FiT).
The two companies have already developed 92.8MW of PV across 28 locations in Japan, of which 21.6MW is now online at 11 plants, according to Kyocera, and plan to develop around 60MW of floating PV on roughly 30 sites by May 2015.
This latest floating solar project will consist of two arrays – one 1.7MW, making it the world’s largest floating solar plan, and one 1.2MW – which are designed to float on the surface of reservoirs.
The use of floating solar technology addresses both the energy deficits created by Japan’s shift away from nuclear, as well as its chronic shortage of land on which to build large-scale solar projects.
Last summer, Ciel et Terre and Japanese partner West Holdings connected a 1.2MW floating PV project to the grid on a reservoir north of Tokyo, using JA Solar panels.
Kyoto-based Kyocera will use its 255W PV modules for the Hyogo projects, while the floating platforms will be ‘Hydrelio’ technology, supplied by France’s Ciel et Terre.
According to PV-Tech, Ciel et Terre says floating PV can work more efficiently than ground mount PV, converting more sunlight into electricity due to the cooling effect of the water on the panels.