Hiradojima is an island to the west of Matsuura Peninsula in northern Nagasaki Prefecture. The long, thin island stretching from the northeast to the southwest faces the East China Sea. It is relatively large, measuring about 45km from the north end to the south end, about one hour's drive.

The "SOL de Hirado Shimonakano," a solar power plant with an output of about 960kW, is located in the north part of this island (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: The "SOL de Hirado Shimonakano" plant with an output of roughly 1MW is Nagasaki Prefecture's first mega-class solar power plant and started operation in November 2012. (source: Chopro)

The power producer is Chopro Co Ltd (Nagayocho, Nishisonogi-gun, Nagasaki Prefecture), which is primarily engaged in liquid petroleum (LP) gas business. Chopro developed and runs many solar power plants in the region, primarily in Nagasaki Prefecture. It can be considered a local solar power producer.

Chopro has started operating solar plants connected with high-voltage cables and extra-high-voltage grids at 15 locations and is planning to start power generation at two more locations within this year (See related article 1, 2 and 3).

On small sites, the company developed commercial low-voltage power plants to be connected with low-voltage cables with a total output of about 1.3MW. Combining all these, the capacity of Chopro's solar plants totals roughly 50MW.

The SOL de Hirado Shimonakano plant was Chopro's first solar plant development. It was also the first mega-class solar plant in Nagasaki Prefecture.

Solar Frontier KK had already formulated the plant's basic design and specifications before engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services were entrusted to Kyudenko Corp. Kyudenko took over the design and specifications from Solar Frontier and constructed the plant. Solar panels of Solar Frontier and PV inverters of Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC) were adopted.