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.
SOLAR GETS BEER FROM THERE TO HERE
Perhaps not that surprisingly, one of the first companies to respond to the The Munich Solar Initiative was a brewery. Augustiner is one of the region’s oldest and best-known brewers and Oktoberfest suppliers and is now taking a very modern approach to fuelling its logistics center.
The brewing company recently installed a total of 1628 solar panels on its roof. And the highly efficient CS6P-P from Canadian Solar will achieve annual electricity production of around 420,000 kilowatt-hours. Augustiner ordered the installation on the back of an initiative from the Munich municipality that incentivizes businesses to adopt clean sources of energy. The municipality has stated its goal is to make Munich the first city of over a million people to run entirely on renewable energy resources.
"More than any other big city, Munich is showing the way in the production of clean electricity and we aim to deliver abut 7.5 billion kWh of renewable energy by 2025, which will correspond to the city’s entire electricity consumption,” said mayor Christian Ude when establishing the initiative.
The brewery installation is a strong step in the right direction. Its annual output is roughly equivalent to the amount of energy 120 households consume in a year.
“The new installation is also highly effective from an environmental point of view. The fact that the Augustiner logistics center now uses clean energy means that the production of around 370 tons of CO2 will be prevented,” said Valentin Fliess of Canadian Solar Germany. “So all those who enjoy Augustiner can thank solar energy for more than the fact that their favorite beer is successfully distributed. They can take added enjoyment in the knowledge that it is now a more environmentally friendly beer too,” Fliess said.