The completed "SGET Toyama Mega Solar Power Plant" (source: Nikkei BP)
The completed "SGET Toyama Mega Solar Power Plant" (source: Nikkei BP)
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A ribbon-cutting ceremony was performed after a Shinto ritual. (source: Nikkei BP)
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was performed after a Shinto ritual. (source: Nikkei BP)
[Click to enlarge image]

A ceremony to celebrate the completion of a 7.7MW solar power plant built on land that Toyama Prefecture owns in Funakura, Toyama City, took place April 10, 2015.

The power producer for the mega (large-scale) solar power plant, "SGET Toyama Mega Solar Power Plant," is SGET Toyama Mega Solar, which is financed by a public-private infrastructure fund based in Tokyo. The Tokyo metropolitan government entrusted the operation of the fund to a subsidiary of Sparx Group Co Ltd (Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo).

The total project cost is about ¥3 billion (approx US$24.9 million), of which about ¥1 billion came from the fund. The rest of the money was raised through a project finance loan arranged by Aozora Bank Ltd and The First Bank of Toyama Ltd. The public-private infrastructure fund was invested in by the Tokyo metropolitan government, etc, and amounts to about ¥8.8 billion, of which about ¥1 billion was invested in SGET Toyama Mega Solar.

Toshiba Corp and Kumagai Gumi Co Ltd provided EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) services. The solar panel and PV inverter employed for the plant are products of Toshiba and Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC), respectively.

The maximum outputs of solar panels and PV inverters are 7.7MW and 6MW, respectively. The SGET Toyama Mega Solar Power Plant is the largest-scale mega solar plant in operation in the Hokuriku region of Japan. After it starts operations, Hokuden Techono Service and Toshiba will provide operation and maintenance services, respectively.

In consideration of snow cover, the height and installation angle of solar panels are 2m and 30°. In Toyama City, a snow cover higher than 1m was once recorded. When snow slipping off the panels accumulates in front of them and reaches the height of the lower sides of the panels, snow does not slip off anymore, creating a need for snow removal. With the height of 2m, snow does not reach the height, eliminating the need for snow removal.