Roof of a new warehouse building utilized

Unlike the other solar power generation systems adopted thus far, the power generation system which started operation at Goka Factory in December 2016 (Fig. 5) is not based on the FIT scheme. Kewpie adopted the system by leveraging the "Project Cost Subsidy for Renewable Energy Business Operators" granted by the Sustainable Open Innovation Initiative (SII) under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Fig. 5: Kewpie generates power using a PV system for self-consumption at Goka Factory. Panels were set up on the roof of a new warehouse building. Weather sensors and other equipment were installed on the adjoining building, through which power transmission cables also run and are connected with the PV inverters on the ground. (source: top Kewpie, bottom Nikkei BP)

The subsidy program provides less than a third of the initial cost for self-consumption-type PV systems which are not based on the FIT scheme. As the purchasing price under the FIT scheme decreases, commercial performance is relatively improving for the self-consumption-type solar power generation facilities that use such subsidy programs for initial investment.

Given its moderately large output of about 300kW, Kewpie is planning to verify the impacts of the power generation system at Goka Factory to the grid inside the factory; especially how much it would help the grid reduce the amount of power reception from outside during the hours of the highest power demand in summer, for example.

The Kewpie Group has individually selected engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services and power generation facilities for each solar power generation system it has adopted.

As for the new power generation system at Goka Factory, Mitsubishi Chemical Engineering Corp provided EPC services while JA Solar Holdings Co Ltd of China and Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC) supplied solar panels and PV inverters, respectively.

The solar panels were installed on the roof of a warehouse building completed in August 2016. A total of 1,120 panels (265W/unit) were arrayed almost across the entire roof.