DC 1,500V systems starting operation in series

There are other focus points for 2018. In terms of technologies, construction will start for an increasing number of mega solar power plants designed with a DC 1,500V system as well as large-scale solar sharing (agricultural solar power generation) projects. In terms of financing, schemes combining the "third party ownership model" and the "power purchase agreement (PPA)" are expected to increase for rooftop solar power generation facilities, while the secondary market is expected to be activated.

In respect to utilization of a DC 1,500V circuit, projects of Looop (Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo) incorporating PV inverters manufactured by General Electric Company (GE) of the US led the market. In the second half of fiscal 2018, First Solar Inc of the US will complete the construction of a mega solar power plant of about 60MW incorporating a 1,500V system, entrusting JX Engineering Corporation of Yokohama City with EPC (engineering, procurement and construction), while Infini Co Ltd (Naniwa-ku, Osaka City) will construct a mega solar power plant using a 1,500V system as an EPC company.

PV inverters manufactured by Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corporation (TMEIC) will be used by the projects of First Solar and Infini (Fig. 11). DC 1,500V systems for mega solar power plants are in the mainstream overseas, including in the US where solar power generation cost reduction has been accelerated, because they are effective for increasing system efficiency and reducing initial investments and operation costs.

Fig. 11: TMEIC PV inverter supporting a 1,500V system (source: TMEIC)