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Showa Shell Sekiyu to start joint project on a large-scale solar power generation plant with Niigata Prefecture
24/11/2009

Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. (Chairman: Shigeya Kato, Headquarters: Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo) has decided to construct a large-scale solar power generation plant with Niigata Prefecture as a part of a subsidized project by the Prefecture and a promotion of new energies by New Energy Promotion Council. CIS thin-film photovoltaic modules produced by Showa Shell's 100% subsidiary, Showa Shell Solar K.K. (President: Shigeaki Kameda, Headquarters: Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo), will be used for the plant.

The photovoltaic market is expected to grow significantly with subsidy programs for residential photovoltaic systems and the expanded buyback scheme applied to the surplus electricity in Japan, as well as with the U.S.'s Green New Deal Policy. In the project, Showa Shell will demonstrate the superiorities of its CIS photovoltaic modules, such as the capability to generate under various climate conditions, and the amount of power with its high sensitivity toward wide range of spectrums and long-lasting durability. The company aims to make the plant the first commercially operated large-scale solar power generation plant in Japan.

The plant will be constructed at Showa Shell's Niigata Petroleum Import Terminal site, which was built after its Niigata Refinery had been closed down. The company considers the project symbolic since the site where it will step towards "energy solution provider" with oil business and solar business as its major business strategy is also the place where Showa Oil Co., Ltd., its former company, was founded. The project also promotes corporation with local governments, which Showa Shell considers essential in expanding its domestic solar power generation business. This project includes educational programs for residents related to low carbon society and the placement of charging systems for electric vehicles (EV) to service stations for further cooperation with Niigata Prefecture.

[ Outline of the project ]
Address3-4914-479 Rinkou-cho, Higashi-ku, Niigata
(At Showa Shell's Niigata Petroleum Import Terminal site)
Annual Production Capacity1,000kW
Start of power generationSeptember 2010 (plan)

[ Completion image of the plant ]

Completion  image of the plant

About Showa Shell Solar K.K.

Showa Shell Solar developed leading technology in manufacturing thin-film CIS photovoltaic modules (product name: "SOLACIS") and started commercial production at the first plant ("Miyazaki Plant" , annual production capacity 20MW) in 2007. This April, the second plant ("Second Miyazaki Plant" , annual production capacity 60MW) was completed, and commercial production started in June. At Atsugi Research Center, research and development of leading production technology for the third plant is conducted. In September, the company announced to start the construction of the third plant with annual production capacity of 900MW.

[ Outline of Showa Shell Solar K.K. ]
Address of HeadquartersDaiba Frontier Building, 2-3-2 Daiba, Minato-ku, Tokyo
RepresentativeShigeaki Kameda (President, Representative Director)
Capital2.62 billion yen
Capital Structure100% Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K.
Number of EmployeesApproximately 500 people (as of end November)

About CIS photovoltaic modules

CIS PV modules are leading edge solar panels, composed of Copper, Indium and Selenium, without the use of silicon. CIS modules are generally regarded as the most promising technology among all the thin-film photovoltaic applications. CIS modules have already achieved the highest efficiency level among the thin-film photovoltaic applications, and the potential is high for further improving the conversion efficiency with this technology. Compared to crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules that are the current mainstream, CIS modules can be produced at lower cost with fewer raw materials required and approximately half the manufacturing process steps. In addition, CIS modules are environmentally friendly products with a drastically reduced energy payback time (period required for the recovery of energy consumed during manufacturing through power generation), and Showa Shell's CIS modules do not contain toxic materials such as lead and cadmium.

Because of its innovative technology, Showa Shell CIS PV modules were awarded the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Prize, the highest award presented at the 12th New Energy Awards sponsored by the New Energy Foundation. Showa Shell's CIS modules also received the Prize for Excellence (Manufacturing and Technology Development Category) at the 2nd Monozukuri Nippon Grand Awards held by Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. With its superior design and solid black color that are well suited for rooftops, Showa Shell CIS modules were honored with the Ecology Design Prize of the Good Design Awards in 2007.

[ Example of installation ]

Example of installation

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