ABB innovations support new Solar PV installations in Japan

2014-06-04 - ABB will provide Smart Centers and grid connections for three, two megawatt (MW) photovoltaic power plant installations in Japan, where generous government support in recent years is encouraging large investments in renewable energy, particularly solar PV projects including utility-grade PV installations.

Japan is in the process of reforming its power industry, which includes liberalizing the retail electricity market by 2016 to provide consumers with more alternative sources of green energy. These initiatives are expected to drive the continued development of solar power in Japan, where demand for renewable energy has surged in recent years.

Solar generation investment in Japan is expected to reach 22.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2014, outstripping both the U.S., China, and European PV investment centers such as Germany and Italy.

The need to reduce power prices became acute after the Fukushima failure resulted in the shut down all of Japan’s nuclear plants for safety checks, increasing dependence on more expensive fossil fuels. The world`s third-largest economy is now reshaping the way it coordinates supply and demand across national electrical grids.

The three plants are the project of ECE (European Clean Energies) K.K., a Spanish company which commenced operations in Japan in March 2012, and has since acquired three plots of flat land in the Tsukuba area, on the main island of Honshu.

ECE K.K. has substantial experience both in solar and wind generated power installations in Europe. The company entered the Japanese market in 2012after the government created feed-in tariffs to help develop renewable energy sources to supplement traditional generation sources, such as nuclear and thermal. Nearly four gigawatts (GW) of PV generating capacity have already been installed in Japan since July 2012.

The two MW power generating capacity of each plant will supply TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company). ABB will install two Smart Centers for each plant. The ABB Smart Center is a new product that includes inverters, transformer, switchgear, and monitoring systems in single package.

The combined systems are designed to fit into a 12-meter (40-foot) standard open top container, which can be transported as a single component to minimize on-site cabling and installation requirements. In addition, ABB will supply the grid connection technology for each PV plant.

The ABB “one partner, one solution” concept is unique and answers the needs of customers operating anywhere in the global PV market. Standard, pretested, containerized solutions of optimized plant components combined with complete PV design capability ensure ABB PV projects and solutions are ready for installation anywhere in the world and distinguish them from the alternatives in the marketplace. Present in the Japanese market for more than a century supplying technical excellence and innovation to customers and partners, ABB has provided technical support to ECE in Japan since 2012. ABB has delivered more than 60 PV power plants worldwide.

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