Kyocera has broken ground on Kyoto’s largest solar power plant–on an abandoned golf course. Golf courses have long been the bane of environmentalists, who consider them a waste of space and natural resources. Now the Japanese electronics company is availing themselves of the same properties that make the ideal golf course to build solar power plants. With expansive sunny spaces and minimal shade cover, abandoned golf courses in both Kyoto and Kagoshima Prefectures will soon host two new solar power plants with a combined capacity of 115MW.
The Kyoto power plant will generate an estimated 26,312 megawatt hours (MWh) of solar energy per year, which will provide sufficient energy to power 8,100 typical local households, the company said of the joint venture between Kyocera and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation.
Located in Fushimi Ward, the new plant will be the largest solar power installation in Japan’s Kyoto Prefecture and marks the 40th anniversary of Kyocera’s entry into the solar energy industry.
“Solar can provide a particularly productive and environmentally friendly use for defunct golf courses, which are characterized by expansive land mass, high sun exposure, and a low concentration of shade trees,” Kyocera said in an announcement yesterday.
The two companies have embarked on another, larger solar project in Kagoshima Prefecture. A stretch of land originally slated to become a golf course more than 30 years ago was never developed as such. Instead, Kyocera and Century Tokyo Leasing and two other unnamed companies will construct a 92MW solar power plant at the abandoned site.