Global Renewables

Japan's Kyocera to develop solar power on unused golf courses

Exciting developments in Japan, with the Kyocera Corporation turning disused golf courses into solar power plants.

avatar for Karli Groves

Karli Groves

Jul 30, 2015 • 2 min read

raised elevation photograph of golf course covered in solar panels

Exciting developments in Japan, with the Kyocera Corporation turning disused golf courses into solar power plants. Land use and spacing issues associated with renewable energy has long been an issue concerning the industries viability in todays rapidly growing urban population, prompting solar developers to think of new and innovative ways to utilize unused space to construct solar farms.

The Kyocera Corporation have been doing just that on the island nation of Japan, where land for development is in notoriously short supply. Since the 2011 Fukishima disaster, Japan have been developing unique strategies to overcome land shortages in favor of renewable energy over unpopular nuclear energy. Their latest idea involves the repurposing of abandoned golf courses into solar plants. This move is in response to an over 40% decrease in the popularity of the sport since the 1990’s. The golf courses are perfectly suited for solar power development due to their large open spaces, with the average 18 hole golf course covering approximately 30 acres.

Together with Century Tokyo Leasing Corp, the Kyocera Corporation plan to construct a 23 MW solar power plant on an abandoned golf course in Kyoto Prefecture, which once operational in 2017 will provide electricity to 8,100 homes. A second 92 MW solar power plant is also planned for construction on an abandoned golf course in the Kagoshima Prefecture, which will generate enough electricity to power 30,000 households.

The Kyocera Corporation are also responsible for the fixed Kagoshima Nanatsujima shoreline solar plant, a floating solar plant that utilizes the sun and heat that is concentrated over open waters. Plans are also underway to construct 50,000 floating solar collection modules on the surface of the Yakamura Dam reservoir, which will be capable of powering approximately 4,700 homes.

With over 2,000 new golf courses created in Japan during the sports peak popularity in the 1980’s, there is potential for hundreds of abandoned and bankrupt courses across the country to be put to good use in the future as solar plants. These innovative developments may also have worldwide applications, particularly in the US, where golf course closings have been on the rise since 2006.


Froelich, A, July 2015, “Japans Abandoned Golf Courses Are Being Transformed Into Solar Power Farms”, accessed 28th July 2015.

Levitan, D, August 2013, “Report Counts Up Solar power Land Needs”, accessed 27th July 2015.

McDonald, G, December 2014, “Wolds Largest Solar Plant Planned for Japan, accessed 28th July 2015.

Sriram, S, July 2015, “Japan: Abandoned golf courses being turned into solar farms”, accessed 27th July 2015.

Staedter, T, July 2015, “Abandoned Golf Courses To Become Solar Farms”, accessed 28th July 2015.

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