3.7MW of Solar Plants Begin Operation at Sewage Treatment Facilities

Toshiba's solar panel, TMEIC's PV inverter

2016/10/06 10:48
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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The 1.9MW solar power plant at Nakagawa Water Circulation Center. Power generation facilities were set up in the area highlighted in light blue (not on a water surface). (source: The Sewage Bureau of Saitama Prefecture)
The 1.8MW solar power plant at Koyama-gawa Water Circulation Center (source: The Sewage Bureau of Saitama Prefecture)

The government of Saitama Prefecture announced Sept 30, 2016, that it will start solar power generation at two facilities of its Sewage Bureau, starting to sell electricity Oct 1, 2016.

The prefecture set up mega (large-scale) solar power plants on the premises of "water circulation centers," which process sewage water. Specifically, it built a 1.9MW solar power generation system at Nakagawa Water Circulation Center in Misato City and a 1.8MW system at Koyama-gawa Water Circulation Center in Honjo City.

In total, the two plants are expected to generate about 4,000MWh (4,000,000kWh) of electricity, which is equivalent to the amount consumed by 800 households, per year. Electricity generated at the plants is sold to TEPCO Energy Partner Inc at a price of ¥32/kWh (excluding tax).

Through a bidding process, the government decided to rent power generation facilities from a joint enterprise of the Toshiba group, which also introduced the facilities and provides maintenance services for the plants.

IBJL-Toshiba Leasing Co Ltd is the representative of the joint enterprise. Toshiba Corp introduced the facilities, and Toshiba Electric Service Corp provides maintenance services. The solar panel and PV inverter employed for the plants are products of Toshiba and Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC), respectively.

Correction Notice: Because of a reporting error, we incorrectly stated that electricity generated at the plants was sold at a price of 36 yen/kWh (excluding tax) while, in fact, it was 32 yen/kWh (excluding tax).