Tokyo, Japan-based firm Kyocera recently rolled out a new plan to add floating solar panels to the Yamakura Dam reservoir in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. When the project is completed, over 50,000 solar panels will be installed atop the reservoir, generating enough electricity to power nearly 5,000 homes, according to a statement released by the company.
Solar panel technology has quickly advanced as its cost continues to fall. New floating solar panels have several advantages compared to traditional plants on land. For example, built-on-water panels could save huge sums of money that would otherwise be spent on land renting or purchasing, nd there are fewer regulations for structures built on water than on land.
In addition, floating panels can be hidden under the surface of the water, without affecting the public view, and also help keep water from evaporating, a great way to maintain water reservation in drought-plague areas.
The Yamakura Dam project is not the first of its kind--there are several water-based arrays already installed in the U.S. and Australia. In Jamestown, Australia, for example, a raft supporting corrosion-free solar panels was installed in a local wastewater facility to power its daily operation and also reduce water loss.
Head over to the New York Times for more details.