Solar hole-in-one: Abandoned Japanese golf course reborn as 100MW PV plant | RenewEconomy

Solar hole-in-one: Abandoned Japanese golf course reborn as 100MW PV plant

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A consortium of Japanese companies has transformed an abandoned golf course in Kyushu, Japan’s third-largest and south-western-most island, into a 100MW solar farm.

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The completed 100MW Kanoya Osaki Solar Hills solar farm. Image: Kyocera
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A consortium of Japanese companies has transformed an abandoned golf course in Kyushu, Japan’s third-largest and south-western-most island, into a 100MW solar farm.

GF Corporation, Kyocera Corporation, Kyudenko Corporation, and Tokyo Century Corporation said late last week that the power plant – the island’s largest – had begun generating power.

The project, which has been in the planning for some six years, makes use of land set aside for a golf course more than 30 years ago that was subsequently abandoned. And it’s not the first time this has been done in Japan.

In 2015, Kyocera and Tokyo Century started construction of a 23MW solar power plant on an abandoned golf course in Kyoto Prefecture.

As Kyocera explained at the time, over-development of golf courses during the real estate boom of the 1990’s and 2000’s led to hundreds of idle courses that have since come under analysis for repurposing or redevelopment.

Solar is being embraced as a particularly well-suited option due to the defunct golf courses’ expansive land mass, high sun exposure, and low concentration of shade trees.

The 100MW Kanoya Osaki solar farm has installed 356,928 Kyocera solar modules across the former golf links, pictured above, and is expected to generate around 117,000MWh — enough to power roughly 39,300 typical Japanese households, Kyocera says.

Purpose-built company Kanoya Osaki Solar Hills will manage operations of the solar farm while Kyudenko and GF – the EPC contractor for the project – will take care of maintenance of the plant.

Tokyo Century is behind the finance arrangement for the project, and with the Bank of Fukuoka is jointly arranging a syndicated loan with 17 regional banks.

“(The consortium) started this project with a commitment to contribute to the community in cooperation with local governments by assisting with a long-term land redevelopment vision,” said Akihito Kubota, executive officer and general manager of the corporate smart energy group at Kyocera.

“Kanoya Osaki Solar Hills aims to operate a power plant with an environmentally friendly design to minimise land redevelopment impact. Through this project, we will continue to promote renewable energy, environmental protection, and a more sustainable society,” he said.

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