Gunze's 1st Mega Solar Plant Starts Operation With Panasonic's Panels

2013/12/25 19:06
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute

Gunze Ltd announced Dec 17, 2013, that it has completed the construction of its first mega-solar (large-scale solar) power plant in Shimotsuke City, Tochigi Prefecture, and started to sell electricity from the plant.

The plant, "Gunze Utsunomiya Solar Power Plant," has an output power of 1MW. It is expected to generate an amount of electricity equivalent to that used by 300 households throughout a year. And it was built on an unused part (15,700m2) of the site of Gunze's Utsunomiya Office.

For the plant, about 5,200 crystalline silicon solar panels manufactured by Panasonic Corp were installed. Panasonic's solar panels are targeted mainly at residences and have rarely been employed for mega-solar plants. The investment in the plant is ¥370 million (approx US$3.54 million). The expected revenue from electricity sales is ¥56 million per year.

In addition to Gunze Utsunomiya Solar Power Plant, Gunze is building 1.890MW and 1.675MW solar power plants in Toyooka City, Hyogo Prefecture, and Motomiya City, Fukushima Prefecture, respectively. Their constructions are scheduled to be completed in January or February 2014.

Both of the plants are being built by using unused areas and the roofs of manufacturing plants owned by Gunze or companies affiliated with it in Japan. The investment in the three plants totals about ¥1.7 billion.