TOKYO, June 9 Japanese refiner Showa Shell
Sekiyu said on Thursday it will install solar cells
able to generate a total of 1 megawatt of electricity at its gas
stations by the end of September to alleviate the burden on the
power grid, especially in the eastern part of the country.
The company said solar cells made by wholly owned subsidiary
Solar Frontier at a cost of 500 million yen ($6 million) will be
installed at more than 200 service stations in areas served by
Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) and Tohoku Electric
The two utilities lost several power stations including
Tepco's Fukushima Daiichi plant, where engineers are still
struggling to halt radiation leaks, in the March 11 earthquake
and tsunami that devastated northeast Japan.
The government is urging both businesses and households to
cut electricity use in regions served by the two utilities
during peak demand periods from July to September to avoid
About 5 kilowatt worth of solar cell will be installed at
each gas station starting this month, cutting daytime power
usage by 13 percent, Showa Shell said.
Solar Frontier started commercial production at its third
solar cell plant in February with capacity of 900 MW a year in
southwestern Japan, investing about 100 billion yen ($1.25
Showa Shell, which is owned one-third by Royal Dutch Shell
(RDSa.L) and nearly 15 percent by Saudi Aramco, wants its solar
business to earn half of its target for annual core recurring
profit of 100 billion yen and hopes to gain a 10 percent market
share by 2014.
($1 = 79.945 Japanese Yen)
(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Michael Watson)