Transportation / Mobility

May 23, 2013


Japanese Railway Company to Build a Mega Solar Power Plant in Rail Yard

Keywords: Non-manufacturing industry Renewable Energy Transportation / Mobility 

East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) announced on March 5, 2013, that it would build a "mega solar" large-scale solar power plant with an output of more than 1,000 kilowatts at an unused site in one of its rail yards. The electricity generated will be used in offices and train sheds in the rail yard, and surplus electricity will be transmitted to the company's substations to be used for railway operations. The plant is expected to begin generating power by the end of fiscal 2013.

Although JR East has already introduced solar power generation facilities at Tokyo Station and other stations in order to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, this is the company's first mega solar power plant.

The solar panels, which will cover 6,600 square meters on the premises of the Keiyo Rolling Stock Center (Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture), are expected to generate approximately 2,700 kilowatts-hours per day, or 1,000 megawatt-hours per year. This is equivalent to the amount of electricity a train on the Yamanote Line (a loop line around the center of Tokyo) uses to complete about four complete runs, or the daily electricity consumption of about 270 households. The company estimates that its annual CO2 emissions can be reduced by approximately 500 tons.

JR East also plans to use this plant to test a power system control technology to transmit electricity to remote stations, in order to more effectively utilize the power generated by solar energy.

Related JFS article:
Japanese Railway Adopts Smart Grid Technology
Japanese Rail Co. Turning Major Train Station into 'Eco-Station'