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13MW Solar Plant Beings Operation in Fukushima

Power line of nuclear power plant utilized

2017/11/10 12:24
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer
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The operation of an 11.5MW solar power plant started in Naraha-machi (town), Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, Nov 1, 2017.

The power producer of the mega (large-scale) solar power plant, "Namikura Mega Solar Power Plant," is Naraha Shindenryoku LLC, an SPC (special purpose company) based in Naraha-machi. The town invested ¥270 million (approx US$2.38 million) in Naraha Mirai General Incorporated Association, which invested all of the money in the SPC.

The SPC rented nine areas (25.7ha in total) including farmland in the Namikura district of the town, which is located near Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant, from 44 landowners and installed about 51,000 solar panels. It converted the land category of farmland where agriculture was difficult due to salt damage caused by a tsunami and radioactive contamination caused by the nuclear accident after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Toshiba Corp provided EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) services. The SPC employed Toshiba's monocrystalline silicon solar panel (270W) and Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp's (TMEIC) PV inverter. The total capacity of solar panels installed at the plant is 13.792MW, and the plant transmits 11.5MW of electricity to an extra-high-voltage power transmission line.

All the electricity generated at the plant will be sold to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc (TEPCO) at a price of ¥32/kWh by using the power line of Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant for 20 years. The total project cost is about ¥4.5 billion, which is subsidized by the national government and Fukushima Prefecture. Also, a project finance loan was structured by a local bank (See related article).

In Naraha-machi, an evacuation order was lifted Sept 5, 2015. As of May 2017, about 20% of the town people had returned home. Through the operation of the solar power plant, Naraha Mirai General Incorporated Association receives a dividend of about ¥40 million per year and plans to run a project for town development.