Visit to Plant

Disaster-hit Golf Course Redeveloped as Solar Plant

Expertise in mega-solar power plant to be applied to urban building business

2014/02/01 21:02
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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"Mori Trust Energy Park Izumizaki" is a mega (large-scale) solar power plant in the mountains of Izumizaki-mura, Nishi-Shirakawa-gun, Fukushima Prefecture. It is located about 6.1km from Yabuki IC on the Tohoku Expressway and 6.7km from Izumizaki Station on the JR Tohoku Main Line. The site was originally run by the Mori Trust Group as "Laforet Shirakawa Golf Course." After being hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, the mega solar power plant was constructed on the site to start selling electricity to Tohoku-Electric Power Co Inc.

Along with the former Laforet Shirakawa Golf Course, Mori Trust holds a number of other properties in the region hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake, such as the "Sendai Trust Tower," an office building in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, and the resort hotel "Laforet Zao Resort & Spa" in Zao-machi, Katta-gun, Miyagi Prefecture. And it runs various businesses including building lease and hotel management. Given that it has many businesses closely tied with local communities, Mori Trust has advocated the policy of continuing its businesses in these disaster-struck areas and making contributions to the recovery of each area.

The former Laforet Shirakawa Golf Course was forced to stop operation after the Great East Japan Earthquake because it was difficult to restore the golf course due to the landslides and cracks in the ground caused by the earthquake. In the search for a business that could continue in such an area, Mori Trust decided to shut down the golf course and enter the electric power selling business based on a mega solar power plant.

Starting from 2MW, which can be transmitted via existing high-voltage line

As for the Mori Trust Energy Park Izumizaki construction project, a mega solar power plant with a total output of 10MW will be built in two phases: 2MW in Phase 1 and 8MW in Phase 2. A total of approximately ¥4 billion (approx US$39 million) is slated for investment.

The 2MW solar power system set up in Phase 1 started selling power in August 2013. Roughly 10,000 solar panels were installed in about 6.4ha (64,000m2), which is equivalent to two holes on the golf course (Fig 1 & 2). The expected amount of power generation is approximately 2,300,000kWh per annum, which corresponds to the annual power consumption of 700 average families.

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