Orion Breweries Ltd. to build solar panel facilities in Nago and Itoman

November 8, 2012 Fumitetsu of Ryukyu Shimpo

On November 7, Orion Breweries announced that they are going to launch a new business enterprise in the electric power industry. Aiming to get government certification for the plants, two in Nago and another one in Itoman, by March 2013, they plan to build solar power facilities capable of generating a total of five-megawatts. The project will be the largest new energy power-generating capacity in the prefecture.

Orion Breweries plans to start selling the energy to power corporations from the end of next year, and expect to earn about 200 million yen in revenue. On November 7 the plan was discussed at a special shareholders’ meeting, in which they approved the partial amendment of the company’s articles of incorporation.

This is the first time in Okinawa that a food and beverage manufacturer has started such a cross-industrial business operation. Yoshio Kadekaru, the president of the company, said, “The national government is also helping to promote this. We want to keep pace with current trends.” Ongoing research is occurring to decide the sites for construction, and they expect to further expand the scale of the operation.

The feed-in tariff system for renewable energy was introduced this July, and already has had an impact on the electric power industry. Orion Breweries Ltd. is looking throughout the prefecture for potential sites for their energy generators.

According to officials, the original investment is 1.5 billion yen, and the facility is expected to be operational for 25 years. The investment efficiency yield will be six to seven percent. The two facilities in Nago will be constructed at ground level and the one in Itoman will be installed on the top of a building roof.

(English translation by T&CT, Kyoko Tadaoka and Mark Ealey)

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