World’s largest floating solar farm to be built in Japan

Starved for space, Japan’s best solar options lie on the water.
Artist’s rendering of Kyocera’s Yamakura dam power plant.
Artist’s rendering of Kyocera’s Yamakura dam power plant.

Japanese electronics multinational Kyocera is set to power 5 000 homes with the world’s largest floating solar farm by 2018. According to the Guardian, the company, known for their exploits in solar energy, just recently “broke ground” on the floating solar farm at a reservoir in Japan’s Chiba prefecture, southeast of Tokyo.  

With 50 000 solar panels and an overall capacity of 13.7MW, the Yamakura dam power plant will be the largest of several floating power plants that are already established by the company. Japan’s size means that it lacks the land to implement a comprehensive solar power strategy, but Kyocera solved this problem by taking advantage of the country’s rivers and lakes.

The solution is specially tailored to suit Japan’s needs as it is much cheaper to build solar farms on land but only if the country has land to spare.

According to Ray Noble, a solar adviser at the UK-based Renewable Energy Association, the real challenge will be to ensure that water and electricity never mix.