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Utility-scale rooftop solar power system reusing EV batteries installed at Okazaki Plant in Japan

Utility-scale rooftop solar power system reusing EV batteries installed at Okazaki Plant in Japan

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced a solar energy solution service provided by Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) and Mitsubishi Corporation Power Ltd (MCP) at Okazaki Plant in Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture, one of MMC's main electric vehicle production plants.

"The energy solution service aims to reduce carbon emissions through the introduction of renewable energy, which will soon have a positive influence on our products ­- including a range of new models aimed at the South African market," says Nic Campbell, General Manager of Mitsubishi Motors South Africa.

MC and MCP will install a utility-scale rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system*1 and battery energy storage system (BESS)*2 composed of used batteries*3 from electric vehicles. Once completed, the installed capacity will be one of the largest among non-FIT*4 rooftop PV system projects in Japan.

Overview of the energy solution service:

The construction of the rooftop PV system began in October 2019 and the scheduled commercial operation will start in May 2020.

MC and MCP will install an initial capacity of 3MW (annual power generation: 3GWh) and plan to gradually increase the capacity.

The Okazaki plant will then use the power generated from the PV system, thereby contributing to a sustainable approach to the production of MMC's electric vehicles. The energy solution service thus enables MMC to use carbon-free electricity from the rooftop PV system without initial investment or new equipment, only electricity charges.

Next year MC and MCP will install a battery energy storage system (BESS) and conduct a verification test. The system uses used batteries from MMC's Outlander PHEVs, with a maximum capacity of 1MWh.

The PV system and BESS will reduce carbon emissions approximately by 1 600 tons a year and avoid peak demand of power consumption at Okazaki Plant.

MC and MCP also plan to use BESS as a Virtual Power Plant*5 in the future, aiming to contribute to the stabilisation of local power supply. In case of power outages in times of emergency or disasters, MMC can utilise BESS to supply power to buildings.

Through these measures, the energy solution service not only reduces carbon emissions at MMC's Okazaki Plant but also improves its capability to respond to power outages in Okazaki City.

Extreme weather events:

As extreme weather events have become more frequent and there is a need to introduce climate change countermeasures at a global scale, reduction of carbon emissions in business activities by switching to renewable energy is an urgent issue for many companies. MMC, MC, and MCP endeavor to expand the use of renewable energy.

"In 2009, MMC launched the world's first commercially mass-produced all-electric vehicle i-MiEV and opened the door to the electric vehicle market," recalls Pereira.

Following that, MMC introduced the DENDO drive station, its next-generation car dealership where clients can experience the utilization of electric vehicle as a power source. Through these activities, MMC is working towards an environmental-friendly and disaster resilient "DENDO drive society" where power is utilised efficiently. Introduction of the energy solution service to Okazaki Plant is a step forward in both a transition to renewable energy and realisation of "DENDO drive society".

MC and MCP intend to improve economic, environmental and social value through combining renewable energy and digital technology to contribute to a stable supply of electricity, and provide additional benefit to customers such as power supply and demand adjustment functions.

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