Zen-Noh Group and Mitsubishi were probably inspired by the generous solar power tariffs that had been introduced in Japan

Solar power to Japan's farmers

30 MW of solar power generating systems will be installed on livestock barns, distribution centres and parking lots in Japan in an attempt to reduce dependency on nuclear resources.

Japanese electronics and ceramics manufacturer Kyocera announced it will be in charge of supplying, engineering, constructing, and maintaining the solar systems at 80 facilities of Japan’s National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations (Zen-Noh Group).

Zen-Noh Group and Mitsubishi, who are running the project jointly, want to empower Japan’s agricultural sector and local farming towns with renewable resources. The currently announced 30MW represents only the first phase of the planned total of 200 MW of the project, which is supposed to be finished by 2015. Zen-Noh and Mitsubishi said it will probably by the country’s largest solar power project so far.

The two companies, having established the JAMC Solar Energy Company, plan to sell the power generated from the installations to regional utility power companies operating under Japan’s feed-in tariff program as early as September 2013. The generous solar tariffs worth 37.8 yen (£0.25) per kilowatt hour of solar power well introduced in the wake of the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster that led to the shutdown of most of the country’s nuclear power plants.

Japan’s government believes the move will help to diversify the country’s energy supply. Apart from rice warehouses and various utility buildings, the companies also want to look at unused non-farm lands as a potential installation sites, which could further raise the generation capacity of the project.  

The 30MW project assigned to Kyocera is worth 8.5bn yen (£60m).

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