Video You Won’t Believe This Floating Solar Power Plant

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Japanese citizens are nervous about nuclear energy following the devastating 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, and now the country is showing off an impressive green engineering feat — floating solar power stations.

This June, Japan flipped the switch at two massive floating solar stations in two reservoirs in the Hyogo prefecture. In a new video, a drone flies over a gigantic field of floating solar panels, providing stunning aerial views of the latest innovation in the solar industry.

The project is a joint venture between the Kyocera Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation, and features two floating “mega-solar power plants at Nishihira Pond and Higashihira Pond in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan.” The twin plants’ solar panels will generate an incredible 3,300 megawatts of solar energy every year.

The floating mega-plants don’t just look incredible. The water has a cooling effect, increasing the solar panel efficiency and ensuring that the water-based solar panels generate more power than rooftop or ground-mounted residential solar power systems. Plus, the floating panels are made with 100% recycled materials, making them green energy in every sense of the term. And as if that wasn’t enough, they were designed to withstand typhoon level conditions, winds of up to 118 mph, and have been called “earthquake-proof.”

The floating power stations are kicking off a new trend in Japan. Another floating mega-station will open outside Tokyo in 2016, and that plant will feature twice the number of solar panels than the Hyogo installations.

Japan has announced an ambitious energy plan; the country wants to rely completely on renewable energy sources by the year 2040, and solar power will be a huge part of that process. A recent study by MIT confirmed what solar advocates have been saying for decades. Existing solar technology could produce enough electricity to meet all of the world’s energy needs.

Japan is leading the way when it comes to floating solar panels, but similar projects are planned in India, the United Kingdom, and California.

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