TSURUGA, Japan, March 21 (Kyodo) — Kansai Electric Power Co. on Thursday held a groundbreaking ceremony to build a major solar power plant in Fukui Prefecture, western Japan.

The solar plant with a projected annual output of some 500,000 kilowatt-hours, or enough to meet the annual power demand of 150 households, is slated to begin operations in November this year.

It is expected to slash Kansai Electric's carbon dioxide emissions by 200 tons annually.

The facility, which will sit on a 1.6-hectare site on the Oshima Peninsula in the town of Oi, will have some 1,900 solar panels. In the town, the utility also operates a nuclear power plant, the only nuclear complex currently online in Japan.

The project is part of Fukui Prefecture's plan to promote energy-related research and development. The prefecture is home to the largest concentration of nuclear power facilities in Japan.

Under the plan, a similar solar plant will be built in Takahama, another town in Fukui.