KAGOSHIMA, Japan, Nov. 27 (Kyodo) — The municipal government of Makurazaki, Kagoshima Prefecture, said Tuesday it will build a mega solar power plant after demolishing a local airport next March in the first such use of an airport site in Japan.
The 12.9-hectare plant to start power generation in March 2014 with 53,000 panels of solar cells will be run by a new company to be formed jointly by Orix Corp. and Kyudenko Corp., the city government said.
Annual energy production will total 9.86 million kilowatt-hours, equivalent to the consumption of 2,740 households, and the energy will be sold to Kyushu Electric Power Co., it said. The joint firm will pay 85 million yen a year to the city government for the lease of the land.
The Makurazaki airport opened in 1991 as the nation's first commuter airport, but it has been used only as a base for the prefecture's rescue helicopters since operations of passenger and cargo flights were suspended in 2003.
Mayor Tadashi Kamisono told a news conference, "Although the airport has put strains on local finances, the mega solar plant construction will bring about a new development to spur the local economy."