Visit to Plant

Solar Plant Built by Redeveloping Land 5 Times Larger Than Panel Area

Bowl-shaped site with falling rock prevention, greening, drainage measures

2018/01/30 23:26
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Institute
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Yuracho, Sumoto City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan, is in the southeast part of Awaji Island. The "Yura Power Plant," a mega- (large-scale) solar power plant with an output of about 2.7MW, is on a hill along the coast of Yuracho (Fig. 1). The plant started selling power in August 2017.

Fig. 1: The Yura Power Plant is in the southeast part of Awaji Island. It was built on a hill, but is near the sea as shown in the photo above. (source: Gaia Power)

Gaia Power Co Ltd (Anan City, Tokushima Prefecture) of the Fujisaki Electric Co Ltd (Anan City, Tokushima Prefecture) Group primarily developed and operates the plant. The power producer is a special purpose company (SPC) established by Gaia Power.

The Yura Power Plant is situated on a steep hill that looks quarried. The power generation facility was set up on unique terrain shaped like the bottom of a bowl. Such a solar power plant is rare (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2: Unique terrain surrounded by steep slopes like the bottom of a bowl. A piece of land where quarrying had stopped was utilized. (source: Nikkei BP)

A former quarry was developed as the power plant. There are other mega-solar plants that were developed on abandoned quarries across Japan, but in most cases solar panels were orderly arrayed on vast and flat sites. This is because such plants used sites that became flat after quarrying was completed. It is unusual that a plant is surrounded by steep bowl-shaped terrain like the Yura Power Plant.

The site of the Yura Power Plant was initially planned to be totally quarried but was abandoned before the goal was achieved. As quarrying was stopped halfway, many steep slopes were left as they were in the site.