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Firms Invest in Solar-sharing Project for Growing Mushroom in Akita

2017/12/29 17:31
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer
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Inoculation at the bed log laying yard (source: Hokuto Bank)
Facilities for solar sharing (some are under construction) (source: Hokuto Bank)
Shiitake mushroom harvested at Iwakimachi Farm (source: Hokuto Bank)

Hokuto Bank Ltd, Japan Finance Corp (JFC) and Credit Guarantee Corp of Akita announced Dec 22, 2017, that they have provided a syndicated loan to a solar-sharing project.

In the project, log-grown shiitake mushroom is grown under solar panels at Iwakimachi Farm in Yurihonjo City, Akita Prefecture, Japan. Hokuto Bank, JFC and Credit Guarantee aim to improve production capacity and profitability.

By installing solar panels, shade, which is necessary for growing shiitake mushroom, is provided. In addition to agricultural production, revenue from selling electricity is expected, contributing the stabilization of farm management. The total output of the solar panels is 190kW. The solar power generation system started to generate electricity Dec 26, 2017.

Iwakimachi Farm cultivates log-grown shiitake mushroom and produces/sells dried shiitake. The demand for log-grown shiitake is expanding because it is superior in texture and scent, compared with shiitake cultivated on solid media, which is the mainstream in Japan. And there has been a shortage in production volume due to limitations to production facilities.

Hokuto Bank, JFC and Credit Guarantee highly evaluated the potential of the farm and gave the loan for the introduction of a bed log laying yard, facilities for shiitake production (e.g. houses) and solar panels. This is Akita Prefecture's first solar-sharing project for high-voltage grid connection (50kW or higher) at a bed log laying yard for log-grown shiitake mushroom, they said.