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Solar Plant Faces Reality of Output Control in Nagasaki

Opportunity loss of 4 million yen due to output control in 2017

2018/02/20 15:37
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Institute
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Wind power, mega-solar plants run on Iki Island

Iki is a remote island of Nagasaki Prefecture roughly 80km offshore in the Sea of Genkai to the northwest of Kyushu. The island stretches about 17km from north to south and 15km from west to east. Most of the island is a lava plateau with little difference in altitude. It is suited for solar power generation with the hours of sunlight and the amount of sunshine being equivalent to those of Miyazaki Prefecture because there are no high mountains to keep clouds from moving away.

Based on these factors, the number of solar power plants sharply increased following the implementation of the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme, and applications for grid connection has reached roughly 10MW. Kyushu Electric Power Co Inc (Kyuden) estimates its capacity for renewable energy grid connection (30-day output control) in Iki to be 5.9MW for solar power and 1.5MW for wind power.

Nakahara Ltd Co (Iki City, Nagasaki Prefecture), the island's leading company that runs construction and other businesses, has been approaching renewable energy from early on in this area (See related article).

In March 2000, the "Iki Ashibe Wind Power Plant," with an output of 1.5MW (750kW x 2 units), started operation with a third sector organization financed by the Nakahara Group and Ashibecho. After the implementation of the FIT scheme, group company Iki Kaihatsu (Iki City) started the "Iki Solar Park," a mega- (large-scale) solar power plant, with a grid capacity of 1.96MW in June 2013 (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: The Iki Solar Park with an output of about 2MW (source: Nikkei BP)

At the end of March 2016, when a 1MW-output mega-solar plant began operation, following a number of solar power plant developments by Nakahara and other entities on the island, the amount of solar power connected with the grids on the island was about 7.76MW, far beyond the maximum 5.9MW, and included power for houses and low-voltage power for business use.