Former Waste Disposal Sites Attracting PV Power Plants

2013/10/10 16:33
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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There is an emerging trend of building a mega-solar (large-scale photovoltaic (PV)) power plant on a site that was previously a waste disposal site.

Such sites can be used only for limited purposes. Therefore, most of the lands that used to be above-ground waste disposal sites are left unused. However, it seems that they are being increasingly used as mega-solar power plant sites for power generation.

In Hashimoto City, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, a 714kW PV power generation system is being planned to be built on a site that used to be a waste disposal site and is owned by the prefectural government. For the project, Kokusai Kogyo Co Ltd, which is affiliated with Japan Asia Group Ltd, was selected as an operator for installation. And Kokusai Land & Development Co Ltd in the same group will be responsible for the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) services.

The prefectural government is considering using the PV power plant for environmental education by planning a sightseeing tour, etc as well as using it as an emergency power source.

Furthermore, JAG Energy Co Ltd, which also belongs to Japan Asia Group, completed the construction of a 2MW mega-solar power plant called "Hibikinada Solar Way" on a site that was previously a waste disposal site in Hibikinada, Wakamatsu Ward, Kitakyushu City at the end of September 2013. For the plant, Kyocera Corp supplied PV panels, and Yaskawa Electric Corp provided EPC services.

In Akita City, Akita Prefecture, a 1.5MW mega-solar power plant started operations Oct 1, 2013, on a site that used to be a landfill site. The PV panel and power conditioning subsystem (PCS) of the plant were manufactured by Hanwha Q-CELLS GmbH and Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC), respectively.

Former waste disposal sites can be used only for limited purposes, and their wastewater needs to be monitored for several tens of years, being burdens on municipalities. But they are now expected to bring revenues to municipalities, which can sell electricity, as well as to be used for environmental education.