Ichigo launched its renewable energy business (Ichigo ECO Energy) in November 2012 in order to contribute to a greener Japan. Ichigo ECO primarily focuses on utility-scale solar power production, deploying Ichigo Group's expertise in real estate value-add to make effective use of idle land in Japan.
Ichigo believes that its clean energy business is not only a means to contribute to a more sustainable society, but also a sound and profitable business, with many projects suitable for a 20-year holding period or longer.
Consistent with this goal, Ichigo has developed a set of criteria to inform its efforts when evaluating a potential site. Ichigo will not build power plants: 1) on wooded land, 2) on land where doing so would increase the risk of a water-related disaster, or 3) if local residents collectively oppose the development. Constructing a power plant that fails to comply with these criteria would go against Ichigo's commitment to social responsibility. Ichigo's total operating and in-development Ichigo solar power plants - all developed in compliance with these criteria - now exceed 170MW.
The Ichigo Nago Futami ECO Power Plant, the largest solar power plant both for Okinawa and for Ichigo, started operation in the February 2015 fiscal year. This was Ichigo's first project, and it has a panel output of 8.44 MW. The site is three times the size of Tokyo Dome. Ichigo planted natural clover across the site to deepen the site's affinity with and show respect for the greenery of the surrounding area.
Also, Ichigo began operation of the Ichigo Showamura Ogose ECO Power Plant, the largest solar power plant in Kanto, the region that encompasses Tokyo and the world’s largest electricity market, on September 2, 2017. Ichigo has made the site accessible to visitors to promote a broader understanding of renewable energy, including building a visitor observation area overlooking the plant site.