"Megasolar" Installation along KIX Runway to be Largest at Any Asian Airport

Conceptual drawing of KIX Megasolar

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KIX Megasolar, a massive solar power installation, will begin operating at Kansai International Airport in Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture in 2014.

New Kansai International Airport Company, Ltd., the company that administers and operates the airport, and SF Solar Power, a joint venture between Minato Ward, Tokyo-based Solar Frontier K.K. and Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo-based Development Bank of Japan Inc. (DBJ), have agreed to construct the new facility. They plan to break ground around the middle of this year and commence operations in early 2014.

KIX Megasolar will place 72,000 CIS thin-film solar modules on around 95,000 square meters of land along the south side of a planned taxiway expansion for Runway B plus 23,000 square meters on depot roofs and elsewhere. The modules will reduce the sun's glare while posing no impediment to the airport's operations. KIX Megasolar will generate 120 million kilowatt-hours a year, enough electricity to power 4,100 typical homes, and reportedly will cut CO2 emissions by about 4,000 tons a year.

The new "megasolar" installation (defined as a solar power plant generating 1,000 kilowatts/1 megawatt or more) will be the biggest of any Asian airport and is one of the main initiatives Kansai International is taking to advance the "Smart Island Plan," a package of aggressive green measures.