KUMAMOTO – A major solar power plant will be built near Kumamoto Airport as a joint project between the public and private sectors, according to participating municipalities and companies.
Kumamoto Prefecture, the town of Kikuyo, Mitsubishi Corp. and Mitsubishi Research Institute Inc. attended a signing ceremony Monday for the project.
The 2,000-kw plant will cost around ¥650 million to build and is planned to be in operation for 20 years from next April. The electricity will be sold to Kyushu Electric Power Co. under the fixed-price purchase system for renewable energy.
It will be Mitsubishi Corp.’s first solar power project in Japan.
“Our company sees the importance of the new energy and electricity businesses,” said Yorihiko Kojima, chairman of Mitsubishi Corp. “We’ve done those operations overseas, but from now on we’d like to do so in the domestic market as well.”
Local companies will produce the solar panels and main parts for the plant.
“It will be a local-made solar power plant, so it’s unique,” Kumamoto Gov. Ikuo Kabashima said. “The plant will also catch people’s attention because of its location — next to the airport,” he said, expressing hope that it will serve as a showcase for local firms’ products.
Dimming solar panels
Kaneka Corp. has started test sales of rooftop solar panels that dim automatically ahead of the full launch next spring.
The chemical firm said solar panels on a north-facing roof can cause a lot of reflection, and its new type reduces this problem.
With no need to take the direction faced by each panel into account, it is possible to cover an entire roof with the new antiglare panels, giving the house a more cohesive look, Kaneka said.
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