Group logistics company adopts on-roof solar system ahead of parent Kewpie

Being Japan's major food-related company, Kewpie has many bases, including factories at roughly 80 locations. The company has verified the business sustainability of solar power generation and adopted it at factories and logistics bases, taking into consideration the long-term operational plan of each building.

As for the new buildings completed in the last five years, their specifications were made to meet the requirements for setting up solar panels on roofs.

So far, instead of an across-the-board approach led by parent Kewpie, each group company has individually considered and set up a solar power generation system (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3: Solar panels arrayed on the roof of Fujiyoshida Kewpie KK, which is the manufacturing base of commercial mayonnaise and retort-packed rice porridge. Beyond the woods rises Mr. Fuji. (source: Kewpie)

In many cases, Kewpie uses the roofs of buildings as the location for solar panel installation. Consequently, most power generation systems' capacities range from hundreds of kilowatts to a maximum of about 1.5MW.

1st on-ground solar system set up at Kewpie's parent factory

Kewpie itself also adopted a solar power generation system for its Green Factory Center in Shirakawa City, Fukushima Prefecture, and started selling power in January 2015 (Fig. 4). The selling price is ¥36/kWh.

Fig. 4: The on-ground type set up at Green Factory Center in Shirakawa City, Fukushima Prefecture. Above is the power generation system with an output of about 500kW, which was adopted first. In March 2017, additional facilities with an output of about 1.5MW will be completed. (source: Kewpie)

This base is used as a plant factory and was where, it seems, the company previously did chicken farming and other businesses for some time.

The solar power generation at Green Factory Center was not only the first power generation business for Kewpie, but was also its first on-ground facility; all the other operating power generation facilities had been set up on the roofs at its group bases.

Combined with the 300kW output at Goka Factory, the group's overall solar power generation facilities generate a total of approximately 4,480MWh (4.48GWh) per year. According to Kewpie, this corresponds to about 2% of the power consumption by the group's production department.