Sony Expands the Use of Renewable Energy
An increasing number of companies are supporting the “RE 100” initiative, which aims to supply 100% of the energy required for business operations with renewable energy. As of September 2, 2019, 193 companies worldwide had joined the association. In Japan, Ricoh became the first Japanese company to join the association in April 2017. Today, companies such as Panasonic and Sekisui House and even Japanese residents have also joined the movement.
One of its member companies, Sony Corporation, announced on August 21, that it would supply electricity generated by solar power to its own remote facilities. The company makes use of a system called “self-consignment” that sends electricity generated by its own power generation facilities, such as factories, to other remote sites via the grid. This is the first megawatt-class solar power generation system in Japan, which has the advantage of using renewable energy at a low cost with less environmental impact.
This initiative is a joint project of Tokyo Electric Power Energy Partners (TEPCO EP) and Japan Facility Solutions (JFS), which would begin operating by February of next year. TEPCO EP provides necessary technical support, while JFS is accountable for the installation and operation of the facilities.
Sony Music Solutions installed a 1700 kW photovoltaic power generation system on the roof of its building at the JARED Oigawa Center, a Sony subsidiary’s warehouse. Through the power transmission and distribution network of power companies, the power exceeding the amount consumed at the center will be transferred to the Shizuoka Production Center, Sony’s manufacturing facility. Sony does not sell electricity generated within the Sony Group but uses it internally (private consumption).
In the past, it was difficult to estimate the amount of power generated, especially when the power from solar generation was delivered to the user. Hence, installing batteries was a common practice to compensate for the fluctuation. The service that Sony will introduce today utilizes the power generation prediction and demand prediction technologies of TEPCO EP to achieve the same amount of power generation, consignment, and demand simultaneously (constantly matching supply and demand of electricity). Sony is promoting the use of renewable energy to achieve 100% renewable energy use in its business activities by 2040.