Marubeni mega-solar plant goes online in Japan

Japanese conglomerate Marubeni Corporation has begun operation of its 82 MW solar power plant in the Japanese city of Oita.

Built in a coastal industrial area in the city, the mega-solar plant will generate power for Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc., which has a 20-year agreement with Marubeni.

According to Marubeni, commercial operation was advanced by 50 days, commencing on March 12. Construction on the project began in March 2012.

The plant has a total power capacity of 82.02 MW, which Marubeni said was the largest in Japan among individual company projects at a single location.

The company expects annual power generation to reach 87 million kilowatt hours, corresponding to the annual power consumption of 30,000 average homes and the reduction of 35,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

Marubeni subsidiary Oita Solar Power held an opening ceremony for the plant on Wednesday that attracted some 200 guests, including Katsusada Hirose, governor of Oita Prefecture, and Oita City Mayor Ban Kugimiya.

The company is currently developing other mega-solar power plant projects, including a 49 MW installation bordering the Mie and Aichi Prefectures and a 28.3 MW plant in Miyagi Prefecture.

"Marubeni is determined to further spread the utilization of such renewable energy as offshore wind power, geothermal power and small and medium-scale hydropower generation to meet society’s demand for the reduction of environmental impacts," the company added.