The swimming pool of a Japanese primary school is transformed into a solar power plant. Governments and municipalities are looking for renewable energy solutions to reduce their polluting emissions while meeting the increase in electricity needs.
Floating solar power is now considered the third pillar of the solar industry thanks to the almost limitless number of possible applications.
Irrigation reservoirs, hydroelectric dams, water treatment surfaces or drinking water reservoirs, quarry lakes, etc., are good examples of applications for floating photovoltaics and thus being able to take advantage of the synergy between sun and water.
This wide variety of locations makes floating solar power a excellent solution for developing renewable energies and meet energy needs.
Ciel & Terre is in charge of transforming an unused area into a green energy field.
The Ciel & Terre Japan team took up the challenge of transform unused primary school swimming pools into floating solar power plants.
In Japan, some schools no longer use swimming pools. Even in the case of functional schools, students no longer use the existing outdoor pools due to their deterioration and now prefer indoor pools.
The challenge for schools is now to find a new use for swimming pools and their facilities, because the cost of dismantling them is expensive. Therefore, when there is an unused swimming pool and it is not planned to be decommissioned in the long term, the water surface becomes very suitable for floating solar installations.
The goal of turning swimming pools into energy producers is to contribute to the community by using existing local assets and facilities. As Japanese cities searched for a good way to reuse these pools, ELM, a local developer and EPC, came up with the disruptive idea of turning them into a floating solar power plant.
Ciel & Terre Japan’s first project was at Hirakawa Elementary School (Satsuma, Kagoshima, Japan). It was the first time that part of an educational center was used as a power plant.
The advantage of installing floating solar energy in a swimming pool is that we can reuse the existing installations of the swimming pool, such as the fences that surround it and the changing rooms for the storage area. In addition, there is no need to dig the ground because the side of the pool is made of concrete.
Saori McMahon, promoter of Ciel & Terre Sales and director of the project.
For Ciel & Terre Japan, the main challenge for these small FPV power plants is to minimize system and transport costs. So far, these micro-stations will only be installed in primary and secondary schools. It has been estimated that around 6,000 schools are eligible for potential FPV sites in the country.