Solar Project in Remote Island Selected for 'New Energy Grand Prize'

2019/12/23 15:44
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer
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Rooftop PV systems and the Ecocute installed for the Renewable Energy Service Provider Business in Miyakojima (source: NEF)

New Energy Foundation (NEF, general incorporated foundation) announced "New Energy Grand Prize for Fiscal 2019" Dec 19, 2019.

In fiscal 2019, it newly created "Advanced Business Model Category" for renewable energy-related businesses that do not depend on the feed-in tariff (FIT) policy.

The "Minister of METI Prize," which is the highest award, was given to the "Promotion of 'Renewable Energy Service Provider Business' in Miyakojima," which falls in the new category.

The New Energy Grand Prize is for (1) calling for proposals on the development of renewable energy-related devices, introduction of facilities, promotion of renewable energy, etc from the public, (2) evaluating them and (3) giving awards to them. Its goal is to promote the introduction of new energy.

In fiscal 2019, eight projects in the Product/Service Category, 17 projects in the Introduction Activity Category, two projects in the Promotion Category and 15 projects in the Advanced Business Model Category were applicants. After evaluation, one, one, 10 and one projects were selected for the Minister of METI Prize, the Director-General of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE) Prize, the Chairman of New Energy Foundation Prize and the Chief Judge Special Prize, respectively.

The renewable energy service provider business, which was given the Minister of METI Prize, installed solar power generation (PV) systems and heat pump water heaters (Ecocute) using the "third-party ownership model" at 40 municipal apartments in Miyakojima City, Okinawa Prefecture.

It supplies solar electricity to the Ecocute and shared areas of the apartments and sells hot water produced with the Ecocute to residents of the apartments. Also, surplus electricity is sold to The Okinawa Electric Power Co Inc based on a bilateral contract without using the FIT scheme.