kyocera-floating-solar-farm-1[CEATEC 2014] With close to 70% of the world’s surface being water, leaving around 30% of land for nearly 7 billion people to live on, it is starting to look like a very viable idea when it comes to working on a solar farm project – that is set up on a body of water, instead of on land. Taking land starved Japan as an example, where they have actually very little prime land for humans to live on with most of it being mountainous regions, solar power projects in the Land of the Rising Sun would seem to go beyond that of the nation’s land surface, and expand to the seas. Kyocera will be working alongside Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation in order to come up with a couple of solar power stations which have been specially designed to have them float on a body of water – and reservoirs would be said bodies in this case.

It does sound like a brilliant idea when it comes to solving one major issue in Japan where large scale solar projects are concerned. In one of the upcoming solar farms, it is touted to offer a have capacity of 1.7 megawatts, which in turn would turn it into a world record holder of being the largest floating solar plant of its kind. The other solar farm would have a 1.2 megawatt capacity, and they are tipped to start operations some time in April next year. Set up in the prefecture of Hyogo in Western Japan, the output from these floating panels are touted to be higher compared to the ground-mounted or rooftop panel models, due to the water’s cooling effects that it floats on.

Will the expected change in the water temperature because of these massive solar farms cause some sort of damage to the ecosystem in the long run? After all, some lifeforms can be so sensitive that a slight increase or decrease in temperature could spell the end of an entire generation. Hopefully all of these issues have been worked out by then though.

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