Japan’s Largest-scale Battery-equipped Solar Plant to Be Built in Hokkaido

SB Energy Corp and Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Co Ltd had a ground-breaking ceremony for Japan’s largest-scale battery-equipped solar power plant in Abira-cho, Yufutsu-gun, Hokkaido.

SB Energy (Minato-ku, Tokyo) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Softbank group and runs renewable energy-related businesses.

The power producer of the mega (large-scale) solar power plant, “Softbank Tomatoh Abira Solar Park 2,” is Tomatoh Abira Solar Park 2 LLC, an SPC (special purpose company) jointly established by the two companies.

The total output of solar panels will be about 64.6MW, and that of PV inverters is 48MW. The capacity and output of the storage battery system will be about 17.5MWh and about 34MW, respectively.

On the other side of the Abira River, which flows on the west side of the planned construction site, there is “Softbank Tomatoh Abira Solar Park” in operation with an output of about 111MW (PV inverter output: about 79MW).

The two mega solar plants use land owned by Tomatoh (Tomakomai City, Hokkaido). The new plant uses about 90ha of land that is about 1,650m in the north-south direction and 1,110m in the east-west direction. And about 195,000 solar panels will be set up.

Both of the plants faced two challenges that cause disadvantages in terms of business feasibility. First, Hokkaido Electric Power Co Inc (HEPCO) requested that they install a storage battery as a condition for grid connection. Because the rapid output fluctuation of the plants can affect the frequency of a power grid, they introduced batteries as a measure against short-period fluctuation.

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