A hybrid solar and wind farm with a combined generation capacity of 56MW, built by a consortium of companies including Mitsui Chemical and Toshiba in Japan has begun commercial operation.
Toshiba announced through its Japanese website that the project, Tahara Solar/Wind Electricity Generation Cooperative Operation, was commissioned in June, having broken ground in November 2012. A ceremony will be held on 8 October to formally mark the start of commercial operation, which began yesterday. It is hope the project will contribute to knowledge and understanding of what renewable energy can achieve.
When construction began, Toshiba had said that the site where the plant is located, in Tahara City, Aichi Prefecture, on the eastern coast of the main Japanese island of Honshu, was chosen due to “top level daylight hours and wind velocity”.
Toshiba had revealed in November 2012 that around ¥18 billion (US$166 million) in investment was expected to be required for the project.
The project received full support from regional and national government, including subsidies for research and development from Aichi Prefecture’s administration. Incentives also came from a Tahara City programme for local business ventures.
The hybrid power plant will generate a combined output of 67,500MWh annually. The solar facility has a 50MW generation capacity, adjusted from 35MW of solar modules with the use of power conditioners, while the wind aspect has a capacity of 6MW. Solar modules were supplied by two unnamed manufacturers, and apparently encompass four different types of cell technology in combination or compound.
Participating companies were Mitsui Chemical, which has a 35% stake in the project, Mitsui & Co (15% stake), Mitsui Shipbuilding and Engineering (10%) and Toshiba (10% stake). Three other chemical companies, CTech Corporation, Toagosei Co, and Toray Industries, each hold a 10% stake. Management of the facility has been outsourced to Trans Value Trust, a Japanese company offering financial and securitisation services.