PROJECT - Introduce Project -

Mega solar projectNew Hidaka Project

Our company possesses high technology and a wealth of experience in the field of photovoltaic power generation systems. We are in business to sell electric power and have been promoting the dissemination and expansion of photovoltaic power generation systems by providing a one-stop service that encompasses everything from development, EPC, operation, and maintenance. We have implemented a variety of successful projects through close collaboration among all departments. Shown below is an introduction of the New Hidaka Solar Park Project equipped with a large-scale battery—the first of its kind in Japan.

Project Member

  • Project Leader Yuji Tezuka
  • Project Development Department Kouta Sugawara
  • Electric Power System Technology Department Yuichi Mori
  • Civil Engineering Technology Department Jyunya Hirano
  • Purchasing Department Takamitsu Fukushima
  • Business Management Takahiro Inui
  • Business Management Yumi Takagi
  • O&M Yoshiaki Miyazu
Installation Example of Mega solar project

A wide range of planning and development operations are involved in the completion of a photovoltaic power station: acquisition of a site, consultation with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and electric power companies, compliance with laws and regulations, acquisition of permits and licenses, obtaining the understanding of community residents, and raising funds from investment partners and financial institutions. After the completion of these procedures, construction of the power station starts and where our company supervises the quality of the construction work and design. Our company implements full testing, starts the 20-year electricity selling business, and operates and maintains the station to maintain optimal performance. Smart Solar Corporation handles development, construction supervision, and the operation of mega photovoltaic stations of various scales from Hokkaido to Kyushu.

STAGE 1From Project Planning to Developmentperiod: one year to five years

ompletes challenging projects with passionYuji Tezuka, a project leader , joined the company in 2013.

Simply put, the project leader must instill the corporate vision and policy in the team, give shape to the project, and communicate with clients and all the other parties involved. The Hidaka Project, a new effort to install a large-scale battery, the first of its kind in Japan, required us to suppress power output fluctuations in line with the strict rules of Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Inc., with our suppression technology. In order to convince investment partners and financial institutions, we had to have the technology and the cost structure to generate sufficient earnings. To this end, all the relevant departments joined forces and mobilized the design, technology development, and procurement capabilities to ensure the realization of the Hidaka Project. Passion is what counts most when bringing together members with different areas of expertise and positions. The corporate motto of our company says, “Passion brings success.” It means that if you think through an idea, develop passion, and have a strong belief that works on your subconscious, then the idea will surely be realized. This idea has been repeatedly communicated from our president to employees. As a project leader, I take the initiative in putting passion into each project and then earnestly talk about it to the team members. I do not settle for second best; I keep asking myself whether this is good enough. I believe that persons who can maintain a strong passion for work will be the persons who can lead future projects and grow with the company.

01Sites or projects with rights introduced by partners

Planning a project starts with the introduction of a site or a project for which facilities have been certified and consultation with an electric power company has been made. The project development section familiar with sites and related rights, engineers who are well-versed in civil design and construction, and engineers experienced in the design and construction of photovoltaic power generation systems worth hundreds of MWs develop the plan for the power station based on geographical features and the natural environment of the site.

02PJ Due Diligence(careful examination of a project)

Each department assesses the risks involved in the project, the construction costs, and overall project profitability, while conducting the site investigation, refining the plan, and leveraging our strengths as a vertically integrated developer. The Project Development Department carefully investigates the land and regional laws and regulations and determines whether the plan is feasible in light of the certification of facilities, progress in the consultations with an electric power company, and design details. Based on extensive experience, engineers in the Electric Power Technology Department and the Civil Engineering Technology Department assess and refine the project to make it a safer and more profitable project with a better design. Carefully scrutinize all laws and regulations and then give permission to proceed. Kota Sugawara, Project Development Department/Joined the company in 2017 I work in the department that first receives requests and questions from customers. Therefore, I try to avoid misjudgments by collecting as much information as possible. It is impermissible to find that something is forbidden by law after construction has started. Laws and regulations governing development vary by region and the location of the target site. Smart Solar has a track record in implementing projects from Hokkaido to Kyushu through which the company has accumulated the expertise to handle a variety of cases. Based on this accumulated knowledge, we can see if any problems are involved from diversified perspectives. While many companies outsource due diligence to specialized external attorneys, our company can complete the process on its own, which leads to cost reductions and speedy responses, which is well received by investment partners. When we are convinced that our plan is feasible after a thorough investigation of the laws, regulations, and everything required for due diligence, we feel happy and rewarded.

Carefully scrutinize all laws and regulations and then give permission to proceed.Kota Sugawara, Project Development Department/Joined the company in 2017

I work in the department that first receives requests and questions from customers. Therefore, I try to avoid misjudgments by collecting as much information as possible. It is impermissible to find that something is forbidden by law after construction has started. Laws and regulations governing development vary by region and the location of the target site. Smart Solar has a track record in implementing projects from Hokkaido to Kyushu through which the company has accumulated the expertise to handle a variety of cases. Based on this accumulated knowledge, we can see if any problems are involved from diversified perspectives. While many companies outsource due diligence to specialized external attorneys, our company can complete the process on its own, which leads to cost reductions and speedy responses, which is well received by investment partners. When we are convinced that our plan is feasible after a thorough investigation of the laws, regulations, and everything required for due diligence, we feel happy and rewarded.

Kota Sugawara INTERVIEW

03 Acquisition of land and rights

After being convinced of the feasibility of the plan, the Project Development Department secures the rights by signing land and rights contracts (facilities certification, electric power company).

04Basic design for SS specifications

Experienced engineers examine the details of the initial plan and develop a design that achieves maximum power generation at minimum cost.

05Acquisition of permits and licenses Basic civil engineering design

We develop a civil engineering design for the best photovoltaic power station and obtain permits and licenses together with design consultants.

06Application for the review of electric power connection and contract

The engineers have handled applications for hundreds of megahertz in a speedy manner for ten leading electric power companies, which have different rules, for low voltage to extra-high voltage, as well as applications to Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Inc., which has the world’s strictest battery control standards.

Work on the development of systems that maximize the power generation effect for everything from design to construction management in a consistent wayYuichi Mori, Electric Power System Technology Department/Joined the company in 2013

With the aim of creating a highly profitable power station, the Electric Power System Technology Department takes charge of the basic design, selects the equipment, and the manages the construction. While solar panels look like they are simply lined up at first glance, the amount of solar radiation and power generation efficiency vary significantly depending on the placement of the upper and lower panels. The engineers show their skills through the development of a design that best matches the geographical features, grounds, and insolation conditions of the site. Since the output of a PV power station drastically declines even during the day if clouds hide the sun, we were required to make the fluctuations in output lower than usual for the Hidaka Project. We accepted the new challenge of developing and introducing the largest lithium battery in Japan and its control system while controlling the fluctuations. The photovoltaic power system we designed was installed over a vast area of 100 ha, 20 times as large as Tokyo Dome, and the electric power generated can supply 6,500 households. We were under great pressure since the investment in the project totaled billions in yen, but the joy of seeing its completion was priceless for the engineers.

Yuichi Mori INTERVIEW

Prevent disaster risks and achieve coexistence by giving due consideration to the natural environment unique to the land.Junya Hirano, Civil Engineering Technology Department/Joined the company in 2014

When developing the civil engineering design, due consideration should be given to the land and natural features, such as the diversion of rainwater on the premises of the power station. If the volume of river inflow is restricted, we sometimes have to construct a pond or dam. If trees are cut down, we may plant trees suitable for the land. In the case of Hidaka, an old golf course was used, despite the fact that the land was uneven, to cut down on costs. Since mudflow could occur if more rain fell than expected, we developed an elaborate drainage plan for the uneven surface of the land. Since our work involves nature, unexpected things can happen after construction starts. Moreover, the site hosted a maximum of over 150 construction workers each day, which required prompt decisions to keep the construction work on schedule. Generally, civil engineers start land development upon request from a developer and hand it over to a construction company after the land development process is complete. However, civil engineers in our company are involved in all stages of the project from the conceptual stage to basic planning, design, and construction up to the completion of the project, which is very exciting.

Junya Hirano INTERVIEW

07Consultations with manufacturers on specifications

We engage in procurement, as well as the development of new products by giving shape to “those things that will make the power station much better.”

08Creation of system construction specifications

In civil engineering design, more than 100 schematic drawings for land development, longitudinal and horizontal section drawings, schematic drawings for drainage, and detailed drawings for cross conduit work, quantity calculation sheets, and geographical survey results are compiled into specifications. Electrical engineers add equipment specifications to a one-line diagram, a system configuration diagram, and a remote monitoring system configuration and then develop specifications that show the construction conditions to ensure maximum power output. When constructing a system, experienced engineers create basic specifications for maximum power output at minimum cost and hand it to the EPC service provider.

09

We simulate power output in an original way by calculating all costs from the acquisition of the land to the maintenance cost after the power station has been completed by using coefficients that were obtained from years of experience. Based on the simulation, we confirm the profitability of the power station and develop a mechanism to obtain maximum profit at minimum cost.

Equipment and Contractors: Determine costs and quality and select the best supplierTakamitsu Fukushima/Joined the company in 2017

My main task is to purchase the equipment required for the construction of a mega solar power station; obtain quotations for the civil engineering work, photovoltaic panel installation work, and electrical equipment installation work from more than one contractor; and compare the estimates. While obtaining opinions from the Power Technology Department and the Civil Engineering Technology Department, I assess the relevant points, such as if the supplier fulfills the required conditions and if the balance between cost and quality is sufficient, before selecting the best supplier. The one thing that I focus on is schedule management. I count backward from the desired delivery date and determine the deadlines for the estimates, consideration and a final decision, ordering, and accounting processes, such as deadlines for posting purchases and payments. I check the progress. I prevent overdue cases and delays by reminding the Technology Department of the deadline for determining specifications in light of the design and construction periods. To this end, I anticipate what will happen next and stay one-step ahead. I am proud of my role because I believe that it is indispensable for the smooth implementation of a project.

10Selection of an EPC contractor

Discuss the details of the construction work with all leading EPC companies in Japan; consider the price, quality, and strengths of each company in a comprehensive manner; and then select the best possible EPC company.

11Consultation with investment partners

Projects that involve billions of yen or sometimes over 10 billion yen are implemented jointly with investment partners. Toward the realization of those projects, we work with partners who wish to disseminate renewable energy throughout Japan and create a better society where people can live in a sustainable manner.

12 Fundraising via project finance

We raise funds through fundraising based on the credibility of our company, project financing from local banks, mega banks, and investment banks, and funds from leasing companies.

Manage daily sales and cash flow and resolve issues in collaboration with departments.Hiromi Takagi, Business Management/Joined the company in 2017 Takahiro Inui/Joined the company in 2017

We manage the sales, credit, and progress of each project. We are responsible for the management of sales related to rights, equipment wholesale, supervision during construction, and maintenance and management of the power station after completion. Moreover, we manage cash flow and undertake contract operations for all of the above. In the case of a project where a new system is introduced, like Hidaka, unexpected things happen, such as the delivery of additional equipment and parts and delays in the schedule. In order to respond appropriately, we must work closely with other departments and collect information promptly. Moreover, in an effort to realize concurrent engineering, we hold all-hands meetings on a regular basis to identify current problems and solve them promptly. We do not simply focus on short-term gains, but oversee the entire project from a bird’s-eye view and consider more than one aspect at the same time. By doing so, we can act flexibly. Since our company provides an open working environment, where we are put in charge of checking important contracts that ordinarily only executives can view, we participate on the management team and learn something very important.

Hiromi Takagi INTERVIEW

STAGE 2EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction)period: Six months to three years

After the development phase, we move onto the EPC phase of the design of systems and base materials, procurement of funds and materials, and construction that combines the entire process. For mega solar projects that have become relatively popular nowadays, it is common to use different contractors for development and EPC. However, System Solar provides the basic design on its own, supervises the execution of the design developed by an EPC contractor, procures major equipment, and achieves the cost and quality that are satisfactory for partners.

13EPC Contract and start of construction

An EPC contract is formed with a leading electric contractor when the construction of a power station starts. In an effort to make the EPC contractor reflect the basic design in the execution of the design, we make sure that the contractor fully understands the concept underlying the basic design. By supervising the design execution by the EPC contractor, procuring equipment, and facilitating the construction work while supporting the EPC contractor, we can construct the best photovoltaic power station.

14Procurement of Major Equipment

For the major equipment of panels, mounts, junction boxes, PCS, and extra high-voltage substation facilities (high voltage incoming panels), engineers meet with more than one manufacturer, make a comparative review, and make the final decision; therefore, they must have a clear understanding of the specifications of all equipment. Manufacturers confirm the detailed specifications and drawings up to manufacturing and adjust the methods to combine and install cables with the EPC contractor. We ensure the smooth flow up to receiving and accepting goods through adjustments in the carry-in route with the EPC contractor.

15Supervision (supervisor)

Supervisors (SVs) who have an accurate understanding of the process from the acquisition of land to the selection of major equipment and basic design confirm the construction by the EPC contractor on a point-by-point basis. We convey information about the residents in the neighborhood from a vertically integrated developer’s perspective and prevent neighborhood problems during construction. We create the mechanism for the safe, error-free completion of construction by participating in consultations on electric power and visiting the Bureaus of Economy, Trade and Industry together with the EPC contractor in order to grasp everything that is happening.

STAGE 3Period from the completion of construction to O&M20 years

The electric power sales business enters its key stage only after completion of construction. We monitor and analyze operational performance for any problems and ensure the long-term, stable operation of the power station. We visualize the operational status and achieve high operational rates through maintenance based on early detection of failures and problems.

16Commencement of O&M

Since we are involved in everything from the acquisition of land to construction as a vertically integrated developer, we understand the details of the power station, which is our strength when performing maintenance. In general, the maintenance of an extra-high voltage power station, such as mowing and snow shoveling in winter, is not easy. Since we know the condition of the land and the design details from the beginning of the development project, our greatest advantage is that we can make advance preparations to secure the workers currently stationed at the site and identify detailed inspection items for each device.

Watching the power station and handling problems. Making proposals based on the data assessment and analysis resultsYoshiaki Miyazu, O&M/Joined the company in 2014

The role of the O&M is the operation and maintenance of the power station after completion. We monitor the operational and power generation status of each power station on a daily basis and handle problems as soon as they arise. One frequent problem is the sudden drops in output despite sufficient solar radiation. When we are informed of such problems, we determine the cause and take action, such as contacting the manufacturer for repairs. We evaluate and analyze monthly and annual power data and propose maintenance methods based on the results of the evaluation and analysis. A hundred and several tens of items must be checked in the daily inspection of a power station. For Hidaka, there are many more inspection items because of the many types of equipment from the introduction of a new system, and the scale of Hidaka is ten times as big as a conventional power station. Therefore, we built a mechanism to carry out inspections with a limited number of staff and made continuous improvements to keep track of the situation in real time via data management. We are motivated beyond simply handling problems as they occur in order to work out a mechanism for the early detection and prevention of problems.

Postscript

The New Hidaka Photovoltaic Park Project was launched in the summer of 2014. While we repeated the process of starting and going back to the starting point at the beginning, we gained partners who agreed with our mission and finally completed the project in three and one-half years. During that time, local residents expressed their expectations and encouragement, saying, “We can’t wait to see it in operation.” In response to that encouragement, a total of 1,000 people joined forces and achieved the project. The experience of making this first challenge a success and the expertise we acquired have become valuable assets. We wish to pass on the assets to the future generation and the future of Japan where the mega solar business prevails and the local production of energy for local consumption is achieved.

事業推進スタッフ募集(正社員・未経験OK)