Sun Ships: Floating Solar Panels To Improve Renewable Energy Push In Japan

Hydro-power is a majorly attractive option for sustainable clean energy, but what about using the surface space of some of the world's water to create power as well?  That's the idea behind Kyocera's massive new floating solar plant, scheduled to begin construction this month.

As reported by, the clean-tech movement will have an interesting new option thanks to the innovative new solar plant design, called "Hydrelio."  Created by Ciel&Terre, the flat, floating solar collector is made from  solar panels attached to a 100% recyclable polyurethane mounting system.  It is resistant to ultraviolet light and corrosion, and is designed to maintain its operations even under extreme conditions, like typhoons.  Hopefully this will not need to be put to the test too extensively, as Kyocera's plans are to install two of the systems in ponds in Japan.

With one successful Hydrelio already in operation for over three years in France, and another in Japan at work since 2013, the design is a proven winner.  The two new Hydrelios, which are being installed in the Hago Prefecture, will have a combined capacity of 2.9 MW.  The larger of the two will be able to produce 1.7 MW, making it the biggest floating solar plant on Earth.

Japan has made significant strides towards implementing sustainable solar energy in recent years, and currently sits at the 4th place for worldwide solar power production (behind Italy, China, and Germany.)  While solar power accounts for only 0.7% of global energy generation (from a total of 22.1% that is renewable), perhaps setting more solar panels afloat will make for a brighter future.

Kyocera's current largest floating solar array in Japan, the awesomely-named
Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant, is apparently so durable they didn't worry about putting it next to the active Sakurajima volcano.

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