As part of Japan’s strategy to diversify its power generation capabilities, the US$1.1 billion Kuni-Umi solar PV facility is being developed in a retired salt field near Setouchi City.
The 230MW facility was the largest PV project in Japan at the time of construction.
As the owner’s engineer during the development phase of the project, we assessed plant performance and drafted plant test procedures, supported contract negotiations and advised on procurement. We supported the owner to optimise construction and operation costs prior to financial close and brought unique expertise to deploy international best practice for the first time, in a manner suitable to local conditions. We pioneered new approaches to improve accuracy of solar resource estimation in Japan and worked to gain lender and investor acceptance for such approaches.
We have also provided site management for the construction of the transmission line and the preparatory work for the plant itself, and supervised the quality of construction of a reinforced seawall embankment on the coastal side, intended to prevent flooding. A range of inspections were carried out alongside an experienced site management team to supervise the quality and programme of the sea wall and transmission line works.
The new power plant will be a clean source of energy for at least 20 years. There will be 192,000 tons of CO2 emissions cut, which is half of the city’s current emissions.
Drawing on our extensive global experience and local resources, we are now supervising civil, electrical, structural and instrumentation system implementation work and reviewing detailed plant designs against local codes and international practice for solar PV projects.