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Typhoon Causes Flooding of 1.2MW Solar Plant in Hokkaido

2016/09/09 21:56
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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A mega solar power plant in Nakajima-cho, Obihiro City, was flooded and damaged. Serious damage was done to the Tokachi region due to Typhoon No 10. The photo was taken Sept 6, 2016. (source: Nikkei BP)
The old (left) and new (right) solar power plants use different solar panels. The photo was taken Sept 6, 2016. (source: Nikkei BP)
Some driftwood was longer than 10m. The photo was taken Sept 6, 2016. (source: Nikkei BP)
Driftwood and beets were seen. The photo was taken Sept 6, 2016. (source: Nikkei BP)
An indicator of the impact of the flood. The photo was taken Sept 6, 2016. (source: Nikkei BP)
The collapse points were under emergency restoration work. The photo was taken Sept 6, 2016. (source: Nikkei BP)

Solar power plants in Nakajima-cho, Obihiro City, Hokkaido, were flooded and damaged due to Typhoon No 10, which struck the Tohoku region and Hokkaido from Aug 30 to 31, 2016.

Specifically, the fences of two plants with outputs of 1.2MW and several hundred kilowatts were damaged, and some of their mounting systems (equipped with solar panels) were collapsed by muddy water and driftwood coming from rivers whose banks were collapsed.

In regard to the collapse of the banks, Obihiro Development and Construction Department, Hokkaido Regional Development Bureau, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), announced the "overview of the flood with rainfall caused by Typhoon No 10."

In a wide area of the Tokachi region including Obihiro City, heavy rainfall was recorded from Aug 30 to 31, 2016, due to Typhoon No 10. And record high water levels were recorded at 12 locations. In the Tokachi and Satsunai rivers, water levels exceeded "estimated high-water levels."

An estimated high-water level is a water level to which river water is expected to reach after excluding the amount of water that can be absorbed by flood prevention facilities such as dams and reservoirs. And banks are designed so that this level will not be reached.

To prevent rivers from flooding, Obihiro Development and Construction Department monitored weather, rivers, etc 24 hours a day, announced flood predictions, issued warnings for flood protection, adjusted sluices and drainage pumps, etc.

However, farmland inundation and bank collapse occurred at some of the rivers under the control of the department. They are the Satsunai, Toshibetsu, Otofuke and Sarubetsu rivers.

For example, about 200m of the left bank of the Satsunai River was collapsed at a point right before the Satsunai River converges with the Tottabetsu River, according to an announcement made by the department. It is a place between the Satsunai and Tottabetsu rivers.