Visit to Plant

148MW Solar Plant Attracts Visitors Through 'Energy Tourism' (page 2)

'Vastness' enjoyed from hill, panel failures discovered by drone

2018/01/21 17:42
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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Wind farms equipped with batteries

This monitor tour started from Aomori City and visited wind farms around the Rokkasho Exit of the Shimokita Expressway. Visitors saw a national oil storage station and a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant beyond the bus windows on the way to Rokkasho Visitors Center (Fig. 2 & 3).

Fig. 2: Wind power generation facilities around the Rokkasho Exit (source: Nikkei BP)

Fig. 3: The monitor tour visited wind power generation facilities. (source: Nikkei BP)

Then, the tour members ate local cuisine for lunch, visited a Chinese yam "shochu" distillery, a local specialty, and viewed the "Eurus Rokkasho Solar Park," Japan's largest mega-solar plant, from an observatory on a hill.

Rokkasho-mura was originally known as a mecca of wind power generation. The Futamata Wind Power Plant has large stationary batteries to reduce fluctuations in wind power output. A total of 17 sodium-sulfur (NAS) battery units with a capacity of 2MW each were set up in the site. This is said to be the world's pioneer in wind farms equipped with large batteries (Fig. 4).

Fig. 4: NAS batteries at the Futamata Wind Power Plant (source: Nikkei BP)

After the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme was implemented, Japan's largest-class mega-solar power plants have been added to these wind power generation facilities. Such facilities include the "Eurus Rokkasho Solar Park" (solar panel capacity: 148MW) by Eurus Energy Holdings Corp and the "Kamikita Rokkasho Solar Power Plant" (solar panel capacity: 71MW) by Sojitz Corp. The Eurus Rokkasho Solar Park is Japan's largest mega-solar plant among those that have already begun operation.