Housing Manufacturer to Produce, Supply Solar Electricity to Group Companies

2013/11/14 18:41
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute

Misawa Homes Co Ltd announced Nov 13, 2013, that it has registered itself as a PPS (power producer and supplier) for the first time in Japan's housing industry and will launch a retail electricity business.

Based on the registration, Misawa Homes will start supplying electricity generated at a mega-solar (large-scale solar) power plant (output power: about 1MW) installed on the ceiling of its Kanto Distribution Center (Noda City, Chiba Prefecture) located in the service area of Tokyo Electric Power Company Inc (TEPCO) to the Misawa Homes group's offices located in the area in April 2014.

As a result, the group will be able to purchase electricity at a lower cost, reducing the electricity cost of the offices by about 5%, Misawa Homes said.

As an electricity retailer, the Misawa Homes group plans to establish a power supply system for its business partners as early as possible to reduce the electricity cost of the entire supply chain. In addition, it intends to build up know-how as a PPS in view of the full liberalization of the retail electricity market, which is scheduled to start in 2016, and consider how to make a "smart community" for reducing the electricity costs of the purchasers of Misawa Homes' houses.

This time, Misawa Homes also announced that it has installed a 545kW solar power generation system on the ceiling of its Numata Plant (Numata City, Gunma Prefecture). Since October 2012, the Misawa Homes group has installed solar power generation systems on the ceilings of its bases in Japan.

The system at the Kanto Distribution Center (output power: about 1MW) started power generation in March 2013, the 49kW system at Misawa Homes Shizuoka's new building (Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture) in May 2013 and the system at its Fukuoka Plant (Kurate-gun, Fukuoka Prefecture, output power: about 2MW) in August 2013.

With the system at the Numata Plant, the Misawa Homes group has completed the installation of all the solar power generation systems that it planned to install on the ceilings of its bases. With the latest plant, the total power generation capacity of the group will become about 3.6MW.

The systems at the four bases are expected to produce about 3.6 million kWh of electricity in total per year, which is equivalent to the amount of electricity consumed by about 1,000 households per year. The group expects to have sales of about ¥140 million (approx US$1.4 million) per year by selling all the generated electricity.

For the future, the Misawa Homes group plans to propose the installation of solar power generation systems to companies outside the group via Techno Factories and Construction Co Ltd, which is Misawa Homes' manufacturing subsidiary.