KYOCERA to Supply Solar Modules and Services for First-Ever ‘Social Contribution Mega-Solar Power Plant Project’ in Japan to be installed through University, Government and Corporate Collaboration
Kyoto/Neuss, 28 January 2013 – Ryukoku University; Inami Town; KYOCERA Solar Corporation (herein “KSC“), PLUS SOCIAL Co., Ltd. (herein “PS“); and The Trans Value Trust Company, Ltd. (herein “Trans Value“) have announced that they are working together to install the country’s first-ever social contribution mega-solar power generation plant (provisional name: Ryukoku Solar Park). The 1.85-megawatt solar project will sell the electricity generated under Japan’s generous feed-in tariff (FIT) and donate the profits to local communities, creating a model that provides funds to solve social problems while promoting the spread of renewable energy.
Profits from sale of generated electricity to be donated to local NPOs for social services, education, and citizens’ activities
Ryukoku University developed the socially responsible investment (SRI) project to create the first-ever model of its kind in Japan by combining the resources and know-how of the parties involved. Furthermore, Ryukoku University, Inami Town and KSC will use this opportunity to cooperate in working on lifelong learning and local revitalization projects in the future, including lecture events for local students on renewable energy.
After the Great East Japan Earthquake, Japanese society has been re-examining its approach to residential energy use and economic activities in view of reflections on its nuclear power-dependent energy policy and electricity shortage issues. Moreover, the challenge of finding a solution for energy problems has become even more pressing combined with the ongoing dilemma of how to reduce CO2 emissions.
Under these circumstances, interest in renewable energy has been growing in Japan, and the idea of finding a model for renewable energy has become an important theme in society. Along with the introduction of a FIT program, there has been demand for a new business model for the spread of renewable energy, and now, there are expectations from regional communities for the potential of this new type of project.
The social contribution mega-solar project model was derived from the research results of a Ryukoku University project to study the “Formation of a Regional System for Local Public Human Resources Development and Renewable Energy Use“ (representative: Katsutaka Shiraishi; professor, Policy Department, Ryukoku University). This project was selected by the independent Japan Science and Technology Agency for implementation within the project for “Community-Based Actions against Global Warming and Environmental Degradation.“
Since the start of the new FIT for renewable energy, momentum has been growing for construction of utility-scale “mega-solar“ power plants. The purpose of participating in this project is based on the concept of creating the highest percentage possible of energy that is consumed in the community with renewable resources.
Specifically, using funds invested by Ryukoku University – PS and Trans Value will operate the mega-solar power generation project (combined total of 1.85MW) at the Ryukoku University Fukakusa Campus (Kyoto City) and on land owned by the municipality in Inami Town, with the power generated to be sold to the regional utility company under the terms of the FIT program. The solar power installation will use 7,500 of Kyocera’s high output multicrystalline silicon solar modules.
The revenue from the sale of the power generated – minus the operating expenses incurred by the non-profit company PS – will be provided to social contribution and citizen’s activities in the Wakayama Prefecture and Kyoto areas where the solar power plants are to be installed.