Kikkoman's Solar Stand

August 24/Cypress, Calif./Business Wire -- Kikkoman Foods Inc. will install a 106.6kW DC solar electric (photovoltaic) system at its facility in Folsom, Calif. The new system will significantly reduce the need for fossil fuel-based electricity to power production and allow the company to sell solar electricity back to the grid when the facility is not in operation.

Japanese companies with U.S. operations are increasingly choosing renewable energy to reduce their impact on the environment and save money on their monthly electric bill.

Kikkoman chose to install a solar system at its Folsom facility due to the high number of sun hours in California, the attractive rebates from the California Solar Initiative Program and the Federal Tax Credit. The state and federal incentives, along with the reduction in the company's monthly electric bill, made the economics of the solar system very attractive.

The new solar electric system will begin operating in late September 2010, and 576 lead-free solder 185-watt Mitsubishi Electric solar modules will be used in the installation. Mitsubishi Electric modules were chosen for their high energy output in real-life conditions and their use of 100% lead-free solder.

The Kikkoman solar system will be installed as a fixed carport over the employee and visitor parking lot. It will serve the dual purpose of providing shade for cars while creating green energy for the company. The system is expected to produce 150,000kWh annually, saving money and reducing the amount of greenhouse gases that would otherwise be released into the environment from burning fossil fuels.

"Along with our parent company in Japan, Kikkoman Foods Inc. is committed to reducing its impact on the environment. Providing power to our facility with solar electricity is a great way to contribute to this goal," said Kazuo Shimizu, president and chief operating officer of Kikkoman Foods, Inc.

"Japanese culture has a long history of valuing the environment and making sustainability a priority. As a Japanese company, we share similar values with Kikkoman Foods Inc. and are proud to be a part of this project," said Gina Heng, general manager of Mitsubishi Electric's photovoltaic division.

In addition to its plans to install a solar system on its California facility, Kikkoman Foods Inc. has undertaken many other sustainability initiatives, including recycling and reusing almost all waste streams from the production process, energy conservation and energy efficiency improvements and improved water management. Since it began operation, Kikkoman Foods Inc.'s California plant has received nine Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP) awards from the State of California and five consecutive Sacramento Sustainable Business Awards for its environmental protection activities.

From the August 30, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition