Honda Motor will install a mega solar system capable of producing 10 MW of electricity on a new test course in Sakura, Japan, the company announced last week. It will install 70,000 panels on 82 acres and will begin selling excess energy from 2015.
AutoBlog reports that Honda’s planned solar farm will be bigger than the 50 acre field that Hyundai has in Korea and the 33 acre field that Volkswagen has in Chattanooga, Tenn. Another difference between those solar farms and Honda’s plans is that in Sakura, the company will sell the electricity it generates, while other automakers have installed solar capacity to meet their own plant’s needs.
Honda’s test course will cover 25 acres and be used for testing advanced safety technologies. The automaker had planned to build the test course back in 2007 with a 2.5 mile long high-speed circuit, but scuttled those plans when the global recession hit. The current version is modified to reflect the auto industry’s business environment today, it says.
The solar farm in Sakura is not the only one for Honda. The auto company already uses solar energy to produce hydrogen for H2 cars like its FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle, AutoBlog reports. The solar farm is part of its efforts to become more sustainable and reduce emissions.
Honda is also attempting to help its customers go solar. In February, SolarCity and American Honda Motor established an investment fund to finance $65 million in solar projects to assist Honda and Acura customers with the initial cost of solar power installation. Millions of Honda and Acura customers and hundreds of dealerships in SolarCity’s 14-state service area may be eligible for the special offer. SolarCity and Honda are targeting homeowners as well as Honda and Acura dealership owners.