Kyocera Corporation has just launched Japan’s largest offshore solar power plant. Clean energy generated by the 70MW Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant will be sold back to the national grid through a local utility company. Although the utility-scale solar plant went online November 1, 2013, it was officially inaugurated on November 4.
Kyocera partnered with six other companies to develop the solar plant, which is located in the Kagoshima Prefecture. The company hopes that this latest offshore venture will set a precedent for a cleaner Japan, especially in light of the 2011 Fukushima disaster. The solar plant is designed to inspire and encourage Japan to make the switch to more renewable energy sources.
The Kagoshima Nanatsujima Solar Power Plant was made possible in part because of Japan’s revised feed-in-tariff (FIT) program, which was restructured in July, 2012 to better accommodate solar energy. The adjusted FIT plan requires local utilities to purchase 100 percent of the power generated by solar plants that produce more than 10 kW.
A beacon for the new FIT plan, the plant floats in a grid offshore without disrupting land or maritime routes. Locals, students and tourists are welcome to take in a panoramic view of the facility’s 290,000 solar panels from a circular observation room, and educational information is also on display. The plant will not only provide clean energy but also generate greater awareness of renewable energy’s numerous benefits.