Sanyo Marks A Year For Its Cleantech Utopia

It’s been a year since the Sanyo Kasai Green Energy Park opened as “a massive testing site and showcase for the cutting-edge environmental technology of the Panasonic Group.” So how’s it doing? Great – even better than expected, according to the company.

Panasonic said that the extraordinary breadth of cleantech systems and technologies at the plant had allowed it to cut peak summertime power consumption by 17 percent “without sacrificing convenience and comfort.” Meanwhile, at one building, the combination of site-produced energy and power savings achieved through managing the energy use was equivalent to 125 percent of the building’s power consumption – beating the goal of 90 percent.

image via Panasonic Group

The Green Energy Park is part of Sanyo’s Kasai plant in Hyogo Prefecture. Among its green technologies, according to the company: a 1-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic system “with one of the highest levels of conversion efficiency in the industry”; a 1.5 megawatt-hour lithium-ion battery system for power storage, said to be one of the largest such systems in the world; an energy management system that controls all the energy-efficient equipment in the park; and a smart energy system that optimally manages energy usage in all these systems.

“The Kasai GEP will continue to contribute to the development of new products and systems as a testing site for technology for energy creation, energy storage, energy saving, and energy management to optimally control all these systems,” Panasonic said.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.