Restoration took about six months and cost roughly 500 million yen

For restoration of the mega solar power plants, driftwood, crops and muddy water that flowed into the sites had to be removed first (Fig. 13). The restoration work was started in mid-September 2016, about half a month after the disaster and after completion of the emergency restoration of the river levees.

Fig. 13: Beets tangled around the mounting systems. The picture was taken on September 6, 2016 (source: Nikkei BP)

In performing the restoration work, Technical Yield consulted the local government and other organizations about the possibility of compensation in regard to removal of driftwood, crops and mud that flowed into the sites from external areas.

The damage insurance covers the replacement of equipment on the mega solar sites but does not cover the removal of objects that flowed into the sites. The company wanted such compensation because it is not responsible for such damage caused by the collapse of the river levees.

Ultimately, however, the company was not compensated for the removal cost. As for disposal of removed objects, the company was allowed to use a public waste storage facility for disposal of crops only.

"In respect to driftwood and other items that flowed into the sites from external areas, we wanted compensation for removal or provision of storage spaces for the waste," Technical Yield said. "The fact that the mega solar power plants blocked driftwood and other objects may have reduced the number of objects flowing to the downstream areas and minimized the damage to those areas. Even if all of our requirements were not met, we at least wanted the Hokkaido government, which administers the Tottabetsu River, where the levee broke and the disaster occurred, to remove the trees that grew along the river and flowed into the sites and compensate for the damage caused by the trees. However, the government did not respond to our requests."