On Friday August 29, 2014, Kyocera and Tokyo Century Lease announced a plan to build and own floating solar projects, teaming with Ciel Terre Japan. Ciel Terre's proprietary float system is the only system with installations in operation in Japan at anything larger than experimental size.
As we have mentioned previously, these projects are a great solution in Japan, as they allow irrigation and rainwater control ponds, even drinking water reservoirs, to continue to serve their existing functions while also forming the base for a solar PV project, avoiding the land use debates that face many other installations.
As Ciel et Terre notes, the water surface has a cooling effect on modules on hot summer days which allows these projects to perform somewhat better than adjacent land-based installations. How much better? Let's wait a few years and then we should have great comparative data.
The first two Kyocera TCL projects are based in Takaoka, Kato-shi, Hyogo.
For English language reports, see Bloomberg, and Nikkei BP Tech-on.
Separately, in early August West Holdings announced it is developing a competing float system. We shall see.