Energy café recharges enthusiasm for solar power
A roadside café in Japan is now serving up solar energy to its customers, daily. And free of charge at that. The concept is the brainchild of Eneon Alliance, a company that sells PV systems and related products. It is also a long-time customer of Canadian Solar.
“We wanted to make people aware that solar power can be a natural part of their daily lives. The cafe seemed like a great way to give them opportunities to come into direct contact with solar power and its many possible uses,” says Mr. Mitsutaka Ogawa, president and CEO of Eneon Alliance.
The company set up the business, called Cafe Luterio, near the Kokusai Street in the liveliest part of downtown Okinawa. And it is proving very popular indeed. Not least, because there is a free charging service for electric vehicles as well as a free smartphone charging area. In addition there are three electric motorcycles, known as “FUTE”, that customers can ride for two hours, also free of charge.
The establishment is fuelled by a 6 kW PV system consisting of 28 Canadian Solar CS6P-P modules installed on the rooftop. Besides powering all the free service offers it also takes care of the café’s electricity bill. In addition, Eneon Alliance uses Cafe Luterio to help power its business by using the location to showcase its products, and as a venue to hold promotional events for the media and potential customers. “As we expected, most people who spend time here are amazed at the potential of solar power,” said Mr. Ogawa.