Tuesday, May 8, 2012

No. 53: A convenience store chain starts to sell surplus power outside (May 9, 2012)

Business trend
Beginning on July 1, 2012, it will be possible to sell renewable energy to an electric power company at a fixed price. Responding to this special measures law, many companies have already participated in the power generation business, and we have another entrant. Lawson, Japan’s second largest convenience store chain, decided to start the generation business within the year. Lawson has about 10,530 outlets nationwide, and it will install a photovoltaic generation system in these outlets to generate electricity for lighting and air-conditioning. Surplus power will be sold to the local electric power company. Lawson is the first major retailer that sells electricity by private power generation to an outside company.

Seven-Eleven, Japan’s largest convenience store chain, has already installed a photovoltaic generation system in 1,400 outlets for in-house power consumption. Family-Mart, Japan’s third largest convenience store chain, has already installed a photovoltaic system in some of its outlets. Kyocera has already decided to build Japan’s largest photovoltaic generation facilities in alliance with IHI and Mizuho Corporate Bank, and Softbank is planning to build a large-scale mega solar plant. The move to start in-house power generation and sell surplus power outside is expected to grow widespread quite rapidly.  

A photovoltaic generation system on the rooftop of a convenience store 

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