Japan’s largest solar-plus-storage plant is now operational


SB Energy, a subsidiary of Japanese multinational conglomerate holding company SoftBank, has switched on a 102.3 MW solar park built on 132 hectares of land near the town of Yakumo, on the island of Hokkaido, which is Japan's largest and northernmost prefecture.

The plant is linked to 27 MWh of lithium ion storage capacity and is the country's largest operational solar-plus-storage power plant.

Called SoftBank Yakumo Solar Park, the facility is owned by Hokkaido Yakumo Solar Park LLC, which is a 50/50 joint venture between SB Energy and Japanese bank holding Mitsubishi UFJ Lease and Finance Co., Ltd.

All power generated by the plant will be sold to local utility Hokkaido Electric Power at an unspecified price, with total generation expected to provide electricity to roughly 27,965 homes per year. The project was developed under the Japanese feed-in tariff scheme for solar. Details on the PV and storage technologies used in the project were not provided.

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On the island of Hokkaido, there is currently another large-scale solar-plus-storage project under development. Property developer Tokyu Land is building a 92 MW of solar with 25.3 MWh of lithium-ion storage capacity.

The use of storage in these projects is intended to mitigate output fluctuation in the power network of the island, which is seeing a high number of renewable energy projects being developed and built, but with limited grid capacity.

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