Japanese firm Solar Frontier KK said Tuesday it provided 10 kW of its copper indium diselenide (CIS) modules to the University of Tokyo’s “solar sharing” experiment on Sado island, Niigata prefecture.
The project, carried out by the university’s Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science (IR3S), aims to evaluate the potential economic impact and the viability of agricultural and solar farms sharing the same plot of land in regions with lower levels of sunlight. This business model, which has been gradually spreading across Japan, can help farmers earn additional income by generating electricity. In this case, solar panels are installed high above the crops and spaced further apart than usual, enabling sufficient sunlight to pass through and farmers to work below.
Solar Frontier, a unit of Showa Shell Sekiyu KK (TYO:5002), delivered its lightweight Solacis neo CIS solar panels for this experiment. They were installed sparsely, some 2 metres above a round of broccoli which will be followed by a range of seasonal vegetables throughout the year. Facing south at a low inclination angle of 13.5 degrees, the PV modules are expected to generate approximately 11 MWh of electricity per year.
The Association for Developing Sado Starting from Washizaki manages the installation and the crops.
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