Last week we reported IKEA’s plans to double its renewable energy investments to $4 billion by 2020, and Volkswagen’s launch of a 9.5MW solar PV power plant at its US manufacturing facility – the largest solar installation at any US car building facility, according to the German car-maker. This week, the commercial renewables announcements keep coming, with Japanese automaker Honda unveiling plans to build two utility-scale wind turbines to power its Ohio, US plant.
Local renewable energy outfit Juhl Wind will develop, install and operate the $8 million project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2013. As Juhl’s vice president of project development, Corey Juhl, noted in a statement about the Honda Wind Project, commercial initiatives like this represent a growing renewable energy industry niche, “which includes installing ‘behind the meter’ wind and solar facilities for large industrial electricity users and corporate clients.” Although, not in Australia, as yet.
Certainly, it’s proving a popular path to take for automakers, and other big industrials. And on the non-industrial side, CleanTechnica reports that Panasonic Eco Solutions North America has completed installation of a 500kW solar PV plant at the University of Colorado Boulder. Interestingly, financing for the project was provided by a subsidiary of Renewable Social Benefits Fund, which works with Panasonic to finance distributed generation solar projects in the US and US territories.
Mitsubishi thinks bigger on solar and wind
A raft of renewables announcements from Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation over the past week, has reinforced the industrial giant’s clean energy intentions – with a total solar capacity of 130MW currently in operation or under development across Japan and a goal to expand capacity to 200MW by 2020 – with the company on Sunday revealing plans for the construction of a new 12MW solar farm in Iwaki City, Fukushima. Energy Matters reports that the solar panel based facility will be the largest of its kind in the Tohoku region and is expected to start operating from mid-2014.
The company will also develop a 6MW solar project at the site of Onahama Petroleum – a joint venture between Mitsubishi Corporation and Tepco in Iwaki. And, in a joint venture between Mitsubishi and C-Tech Corporation, it will build and operate the 77MW Mega Solar Power Plant, one of the largest solar projects in Japan. Construction of the 88,000MWh plant will start this year; with the first electricity to be exported in 2014.
Mitsubishi Corp also announced last week that it would acquire 50 per cent of the Dutch Luchterduinen offshore wind farm, which it will build and operate jointly with Eneco. The two companies have also entered into a long-term partnership agreement for on-shore wind energy activities in Europe, says Energy Matters.
New chief for CMI
Peter Castellas has been revealed as the new CEO of the Carbon Market Institute, a role he will commence immediately, according to the CMI board. Castellas’ comes to the Institute from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, where he headed up the corporate finance team that provided specialist advice in the areas of carbon advisory, sustainability and clean technology to national and international clients and government agencies. Before that, he led Cleantech Australasia for five years, was a sustainability advisor for the Commonwealth Bank and fund manager of the Sustainable Melbourne Fund.