Stay Afloat

With solar power becoming more accessible, it’s inevitable that this sustainable source of energy will become more ingrained into the overall energy landscape. We have solar powered bridges and we have solar powered roads (well, solar powered bike paths, technically speaking).

And as the world continues to adopt the technology, engineers around the world are looking into how they will be able to build solar plants that can keep up with the rising demand.

Floating solar power projects developed by Kyocera TCL Solar in Japan. Image Credit: Kyocera

To that end, Japanese electronics company, Kyocera, has begun construction on what is set to become the largest (in terms of capacity) floating solar power plant.

While this is not the first, in fact, this latest announcement from the brand is the fourth that they are planning to build, it does promise to be the most impressive one yet.

The facility is set to built on the Yamakura Dam and is expected to create 13.7 megawatts (MW) of power.

The company is targeting completion for March 2018. In the end, the initiative will comprise of 51,000 photovoltaic panels that will be attached together to cover approximately 180,000 square meters (44.5 acres) of space.

Energy Efficient

The planned power plant will be roughly the size of 18 soccer pitches, so you can only imagine the scale of this project. The new plant will be able to power 4,970 average households and will offset around 7,411 tonnes of C02 emissions annually.

The move to begin construction on the floating power plant was made in order to make use of Japan’s “abundant water surfaces of reservoirs for agricultural and flood control purposes.”

Usable land commands premium prices in Japan, which makes the decision to construct a massive power plant on water a practical one. Experts also assure that the construction of the floating panels will not affect water quality in any way and will be designed to be typhoon resistant.

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