Visit to Plant

Solar Plant in Residential Area Utilized by Local Community in Disaster Drill

2017/09/27 15:46
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Institute
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The "Ise Futami Mega Solar Hikarinomachi" mega- (large-scale) solar power plant operates next to "Hikarinomachi" residential area in Ise City, Mie Prefecture (Fig. 1). The location is near Ise Shrine and Ise Bay.

Fig. 1: Ise Futami Mega Solar Hikarinomachi developed in parallel with the nearby residential area. (source: Sanko Real Estate)

Just like the residential area, this mega-solar power plant is developed by Sanko Real Estate Co Ltd (Tsu City, Mie Prefecture) of Mie Kotsu Group Holdings Inc. I have covered such transition for about four years after the plant was featured in this "Visit to Plant" section in October 2013 (See related article).

This mega-solar plant is provided with not only a solar power generation system for power selling but also a rechargeable battery system that can be used as an emergency power supply. Inhabitants of the adjoining residential property can use the system in the time of disaster.

After four years, the composition of the plant changed (Fig. 2). The plant used to be composed of two power plants with a total output of about 5.2MW. Plant No. 1 with a total solar panel capacity of about 2.2MW and a rated PV inverter capacity (grid capacity) of 1.75MW and plant No. 2 with about 3MW and 2.3MW, respectively, were operating back then.

Fig. 2: After plant No. 2 started operation (top) and after plant No. 3 and an additional area of No. 2 started operation (bottom). To the right of the vertical road in the middle is plant No. 1 while on the left bottom of the road is plant No. 2. Additional facilities were set up on a vacant space in the western area of plant No. 2 while plant No. 3 was constructed on an adjoining site to the north of plant No. 2. (source: Sanko Real Estate)

Plant No. 3 started operation later in November 2015. Plant No. 2's grid capacity was also boosted by setting up additional panels and PV inverters in the site.

Plant No. 3 adjoins plant No. 2 on its north side (Fig. 3). Its site scale is about 2.8ha with a panel capacity of about 2.5MW and 1.995MW rated capacity of PV inverters. Annual power generation is expected to total roughly 3,000,000kWh, which is equivalent to the consumption of about 850 general households. Unlike ¥40/kWh at plants No. 1 and No. 2, generated power is purchased at ¥36/kWh.

Fig. 3: Plant No. 3 with a rated capacity of 1.995MW started operation in November 2015. (source: Nikkei BP)

The solar panel capacity and the PV inverter capacity for power selling thus far totals about 8MW and 6.295MW, respectively. After that, the rate of overload was boosted by further increasing the solar panel capacity at plants No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 between January and March 2017. As a result, the total solar panel capacity increased from 8MW to about 8.6MW.

At all these three plants, Chiyoda Corp provided engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services while Solar Frontier KK's CIS compound-type solar panels and PV inverters of Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC) were adopted. These were Sanko Real Estate's first mega-solar developments, and these three companies have continued to provide EPC services, solar panels and PV inverters, respectively, at Sanko Real Estate's solar plants.