New 314 Acre Japanese Solar Plant to Power 22,000 Homes
Smartphone maker Kyocera recently launched the Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant, a 70-megawatt facility that can generate enough electricity to power about 22,000 homes. The move comes as Japan struggles with energy sources as nuclear power plants were shut down after meltdowns hit Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima plant in 2011.
Set on Kagoshima Bay, the sprawling Nanatsujima plant commands sweeping views of Sakurajima, an active stratovolcano that soars to 3,665 feet. It has 290,000 solar panels and takes up about 314 acres, roughly three times the total area of Vatican City. Kyocera established the facility with six other firms as well as a company to run the plant. It will sell electricity generated to the local utility, Kyushu Electric Power Co.
Solar has never been more affordable for more Americans – with residential prices dropping an impressive 14% over the last year alone. But global solar leader Germany is still beating the U.S. in the race to low-cost PV.