Kyocera Corp. recently announced that its total accumulated production of solar modules since 1975 has exceeded the 5 gigawatt (GW) milestone. For comparison, 5 GW of solar modules would be sufficient to supply individual 3.5-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) systems for more than 1.4 million homes. In the current fiscal year (April 2014 to March 2015), the company is targeting annual production of 1.4 GW, up from approximately 1.2 GW in the previous fiscal year.
Kyocera's rapid increase in solar production in recent years has been spurred by rising global demand for renewable energy resources. Solar is becoming an attractive solution for countries, businesses and consumers who want to reduce their impact on the environment and dependence on coal and nuclear energies. This has become most evident in Japan over the past few years, where an aggressive feed-in-tariff program launched in July 2012 has seen an unprecedented rise in the adoption of solar. Kyocera has also taken proactive measures to further its solar business by becoming an independent power producer.
Some of the larger solar installations using high-quality, efficient Kyocera modules include:
• Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant: a 70-megawatt (MW) solar field in Kagoshima Bay, one of Japan’s largest solar power plants
• AV Solar II: a utility-scale installation in Arizona, using 25 MW of Kyocera modules
• U.S. Light Energy: 9.4 MW of installations in New York, financed by Kyocera
• Thai PV Program: Solar farms at 35 locations totaling approximately 260 MW
• Salamanca and Dulcinea, Spain: Kyocera modules power Planta Solar de Salamanca (13.8 MW) and Planta Solar de Dulcinea (28.8 MW)
Kyocera’s solar production will expand even further if a recently announced concept near Nagasaki, Japan, comes to fruition. Five companies, including Kyocera, have reached a basic agreement to investigate the possibility of operating a 430 MW solar power project on the island of Ukujima, which would reportedly be the largest in the world to be implemented on agricultural land. The project plans to use approximately 1.7 million of Kyocera’s high-output, multi-crystalline silicon solar modules to create the system, which would generate an estimated 500,000 MWh per year.