Japan is planning to build huge floating solar power plants
One of Kyocera’s existing solar power plants, which has 70 MW of power capacity and sticks out into Kagoshima Bay in southern Japan. 
Image: [name here]/Shutterstock

Japan may be short on free land space, but that’s not stopping them from investing in renewable energy. Solar panel company Kyocera Corp, Century Tokyo Leasing Corp and Ciel Terre have announced (release in Japanese) that they're teaming up to create two huge floating solar power plants which will be up and running by April next year. 

These are just the first two of a planned network of around 30 floating 2 megawatt (MW) power plants, capable of generating a combined 60 MW of power, a spokesperson from Kyocera told Chisaki Watanabe from Bloomberg.

The first of these floating solar farms to be build will have 1.7 MW of power capacity, making it the world's largest floating solar power plant. Construction will start this month, according to the announcement, on the surface of Nishihira pond in Japan's Hyogo Prefecture, west of Osaka. The second will have a capacity of 1.2 MW and will be built on Dongping pond, Jason Hahn reports for Digital Trends, and the plants are aimed to be finished by April 2015.

According to Digital Trends, just these first two floating solar power plants would be enough to power anywhere between 483 and 967 American households.

The floating power plants aren’t just good for saving space - because the panels are over water they have a cooler temperature,which makes them more efficient. India has also recently invested in floating solar panels.

Kyocera and Century Tokyo partnered in August 2012 to develop around 93 MW of solar power plants, Bloomberg reports. So far, 22 MW of these projects have begun operating.