Kansai Electric fires up first solar station


Kansai Electric Power Co. said Tuesday it began partial operation of its solar power station on the waterfront in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, a month ahead of schedule.

The 2,850-kw station, Japan’s first major solar power station commercially operated by an electric utility, is capable of delivering electricity to some 900 households, according to Osaka-based Kansai Electric.

The power station sits on a 6-hectare tract, comprising about one-third of the company’s total solar power complex, with remaining areas yet to be completed.

Full operation of the facility is scheduled to begin next October. The complex, which will them have capacity to generate about 10,000 kw, will be able to provide electricity to around 3,000 households while slashing carbon dioxide emissions by 4,000 tons annually, according to the company.

The cost of the entire project is about ¥5 billion.

“We hope to contribute to the expansion of renewable energy to promote a low-carbon society,” Sakae Kanno, executive vice president of Kansai Electric, told reporters.