ABB supports Japan’s push towards solar

2013-05-07 - ABB has turned one of its Japanese factories into a rooftop solar power plant to demonstrate the potential of solar power in a country seeking clean alternatives to nuclear energy.
By ABB Communications

As of April 2013, ABB’s state-of-the-art photovoltaic (PV) plant at ABB Bailey Japan located in Izunokuni city, Shizuoka started supplying energy to the grid in a 20-year agreement with the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). The system features the full range of ABB products and automation systems used in PV solar plants and is intended to showcase ABB’s expertise as a provider of solar solutions.

Japan is rethinking its energy mix to reduce dependence on nuclear power which used to provide around one-third of the country’s electricity. As part of its new energy policy, the government has strongly promoted renewables, and in July 2012 introduced a feed-in-tariff (FiT) of 42 Japanese Yen per kilowatt-hour (equivalent to 50 US cents per kWh at the time). As a result, the Japanese solar market is booming, even after a recent reduction of the FiT by 10 percent for the 2013 fiscal year.

Demonstrating the power of solar
The rooftop power plant employs the full range of ABB’s offerings for solar solutions and will be a show piece of ABB technology to demonstrate to customers who are interested in PV solar. The installation is expected to generate about half of the ABB factory’s peak electricity demand, thereby reducing ABB’s CO2 footprint

The ABB solar plant consists of 1,040 PV panels, each installed in a fixed position and with a power output of 312 kilowatt-peak (kWp). The key electrical components, also supplied by ABB, include one central inverter, junction boxes, a transformer and a ring main unit. As a showcase to customers, a small 1-axis tracker system has been installed on the ground, generating 7 kW. This tracking system is unique in Japan.

Monitoring and control solutions
The system is monitored and controlled by a Symphony™ Plus automation solution, the first such installation in Japan. The installation and use of the system will help ABB enhance the skills and know-how of local personnel in order to offer solar monitoring solutions.

The overall plant was designed according to IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) standards. Japan has its own standard with a lower system voltage. This ABB rooftop power plant with the 1,000-volt design can provide higher efficiencies and cost benefits with the standard ABB solution employed.

In a second step, a remote monitoring function will be added to the Symphony Plus system. The installations of future Japanese PV customers can be monitored from the remote control room, located at ABB Japan, which will enhance further solar service business opportunities

ABB’s system was certified by TEPCO under the agreed 42 JPY/kWh feed-in-tariff.

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