Kewpie Corp's Goka Factory is located in Gokamachi, Sashima-gun, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan (Fig. 1). It is Kewpie's core factory in East Japan, where its mainstay products such as mayonnaise and dressing are manufactured.

Fig. 1: The Goka Factory is Kewpie's main factory where mayonnaise and dressing are manufactured. Seen in the lower part of the lower photo is the company's new warehouse building upon which solar panels are mounted. (source: Kewpie)

Partly because it manufactures products familiar to consumers, Kewpie proactively accepts visitors. A total of approximately 20,000 people including families visit the factory every year. After touring the manufacturing process, the visitors can taste the products.

Since it is a large-scale factory, an enormous amount of raw materials such as eggs and vinegar is used. Such mass production is efficiently supported by large-scale facilities that we seldom see in our daily lives, including "egg breakers" that break about 600 eggs per minute and storage sheds that look like oil tanks.

The Kewpie Group reportedly accounts for about 10%, the largest share, of overall egg consumption in Japan.

At Goka Factory, a solar power generation system with an output of about 300kW started operation in December 2016 (Fig. 2). The system was set up on the roof of a new warehouse building, which was completed in the summer of 2016. The expected amount of power generation is roughly 330MWh per year. This is Kewpie's 10th solar power generation system adopted for its factories in Japan.

Fig. 2: Solar panels were set up on the roof of a new warehouse building. The explanatory board for visitors (bottom) outlines the facilities. (source: Nikkei BP)

Kewpie started approaching full-scale solar power generation in 2013. Primarily utilizing the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme, the company has adopted photovoltaic (PV) power on the roofs of group companies' facilities and idle sites.