Japan to open solar power plant 15.5 miles from Fukushima

A Japanese children’s theme park company is planning to open a major new solar power plant just 15.5 miles away from the earthquake-cum-tsunami hit Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant.

The new project, located on a 3.7 acre tsunami-damaged site in Minamisoma, involves the creation of a one megawatt solar power plant, The Telegraph reports.

The 3.2 million pounds plant will also open allow visitors, especially children, to experience life as a solar plant worker in a realistic setting, and conduct other activities like maintenance inspections to monitoring operations.

The project is the brainchild of Kids City Japan KK, the company behind the theme park chain KidZania, where children experience life as workers across a variety of real-life professions.

The new plant focuses on an anti-nuclear sentiment, which has been sweeping across Japan since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami damaged the Fukushima plant, leading to the world’s worst nuclear crisis in decades.

The commercial operation of all the units was commenced the 10-MW Sakai Solar Power Generation Plant, located in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture. This was revealed by Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc.

The construction of the solar power plant started in December 2009. The first unit (2,850 kW) started its commercial operation in October 2010. The second unit (3,450 kW) started its operations in March 2011.

As a joint project, Kansai Electric Power and Sakai City developed the power plant. The facility spreads over an area of approximately 21 hectares. It is expected that the plant has the capacity to generate about 11 GWh per year, equivalent to the power consumption by 3,000 households. It can also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 4,000 tons per year.

Apart from these features, a substation, that the power plant is connected to, has started testing of an electric power supply-demand control system with the help of nickel hydride batteries.