Tohoku Electrical Safety Inspection Association provided "Expert II Training," through which knowledge about mega (large-scale) solar power plants and knowhow to manage them are learned, in Minamisoma City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, from Jan 9 to 11, 2018.

The association had the on-site training mainly with three curricula by using "Somanomaoi-no-sato Hoan Solar," a solar power plant that it built and runs for training.

The three curricula are the "performance diagnosis of solar cell modules," "prior-to-use self-check" and "response to the abnormalities of solar cell modules and PV inverters." Three teams learned inspection methods, diagnosis of abnormalities and responses by using real facilities. It took about four hours for them to complete each curriculum.

As of the end of December 2017, the association was entrusted with the safety inspection of 713 solar power plants that were built only for selling electricity. And it has provided training on the basic knowledge of mega solar facilities to about 1,000 people engaged in safety inspection. The Expert Training is targeted at engineers who have already completed the basic training and aimed at learning more advanced knowledge.

Regional safety inspection associations have been mainly responsible for the safety inspection of transformer facilities for grid connection. But the safety inspection of solar power generation facilities includes PV inverters and direct-current facilities on the side of solar panels. And they are increasingly entrusted with the management of those facilities and prior-to-use self-check.

The on-site training at "Hoan Solar" in Minamisoma City, Fukushima Prefecture (source: Nikkei BP)