An innovative model is being explored in Japan that promotes the spread of solar energy by using the profits generated by solar electricity to support the local community.
The profits generated at a 1.85 megawatt solar farm, Ryukoku Solar Park, will be donated to local communities, creating a model that provides funds to solve social problems, while fostering the spread of renewable energy.
Spearheaded by Ryukoku University, the social investment model combines the resources of Trans Value Trust Co. and non-profit, Plus Social.
Japan's Science and Technology Agency Research selected the project for implementation based on a Ryukoku research study, "Formation of a Regional System for Local Public Human Resources Development and Renewable Energy Use."
The project is being carried out as part of the Agency's "Community-Based Actions against Global Warming and Environmental Degradation."
Sited on university and municipal land, Kyocera will build the plant with 7500 of its solar panels, and Plus Social and Trans Value will maintain it. The regional utility will buy the electricity under the terms of the feed-in tariff and that revenue - minus operating expenses - will be donated to community organizations and the university.
Ryukoku University will publically disclose the amount of power generated and greenhouse gas emission reductions from the project.
Construction begins in May and operations begin in July. The project cost is about $8 million.