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Donation for a Sustainable Community

Solar Power Profits of Ten Million Yen Donated for Sustainable Community-Building

A donation was made to Sakata City from the Shonai Natural Energy Generation Co., Ltd.

​On Friday, February 14, the Shonai Natural Energy Generation Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo), founded by Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Cooperative Union (Head Office: Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo; below, “Seikatsu Club”) and its partner producers made a donation of a part of its profits from the power generating business to Sakata City, Yamagata Prefecture. 

The value of this commemorable first donation was set at ten million yen, which was presented to Sakata City. Based on a joint declaration and agreement, the city has decided to propose the establishment of a Shonai-Yuza Solar Power Fund at the regular session of the city council in March.


In February 2019, the organizations that make up the Seikatsu Club Group, their producer partners and others constructed a “Shonai-Yuza Solar Power Plant” with an annual generating capacity of 18,000 MWh in Yuza Town, Yamagata Prefecture. The objective of the plant is to supply power generated using renewable energy, which is a natural resource of Shonai, and to make use of the profits in the building of a sustainable society and communities. 

In May 2019, when the power plant became fully operable, the five parties Sakata City, Yamagata Prefecture; Yuza Town, Yamagata Prefecture; Consumers’ Co-operative Union Shonai Shinseikai; Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union; and the Shonai Natural Energy Generation Co., Ltd. issued a joint declaration aimed at the creation of a Shonai Natural Energy Generation Fund (tentative name) and concluded an agreement based on the declaration.

This donation of a part of the profits from the power generating business has been made to commemorate the passing of one year of the agreement.

Left to right: Vice Mayor Shigeki Motomiya of Yuza Town; Mr. Kashichi Nitta, President of Shonai Natural Energy Generation Co., Ltd.; Mayor Itaru Maruyama of Sakata City; Mr. Koichi Kato, Chairperson of Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union, Mr. Takayuki Watabe, Managing Director of Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union
Overview of the Donation Ceremony
Date and Time: Friday, February 14, 2020, 14:00 to 15:00
Place: Reception Room No.1, 4F, Sakata City Office, 2-2-45 Honcho, Sakata City, Yamagata Pref. 
Speakers: 
Mayor Itaru Maruyama of Sakata City, Yamagata Pref.
Vice Mayor Shigeki Motomiya of Yuza Town, Yamagata Pref. (representing Mayor Hiroki Tokita of Yuza Town)
Mr. Kashichi Nitta, President of Shonai Natural Energy Generation Co., Ltd.
Mr. Koichi Kato, Chairperson of Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union
Mr. Takayuki Watabe, Managing Director of Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union
Summary of Speeches at the Ceremony
■ Mr. Kashichi Nitta, President of Shonai Natural Energy Generation Co., Ltd.
Our company, Shonai Natural Energy Generation Co., Ltd., has continued to generate power smoothly since we began commercial operation in April last year. Today, I would like to express my gratitude for having reached the point of making this donation to the fund that is about to be established by Sakata City based on the joint declaration of the five parties. This business project began from the motivation to make contributions to local communities. In particular, we would like to contribute to activities that realize self-sufficiency in food (F), energy (E), and care (C) in local communities and sustainability in the Shonai region.

■ Mayor Itaru Maruyama of Sakata City, Yamagata Pref.
The relations between Seikatsu Club and its partner producers in the Shonai region have developed through food over many years, and this has led today to the donation to Sakata City of a part of the profits of the Shonai-Yuza Solar Power Plant for local communities. I would like to once again express my deep thanks to everyone involved in this project.
We will propose the establishment of a fund in the city council in March this year and will consider ways of using the donated money in the future. Through collaboration among the five parties that signed the joint declaration I would like to make the money useful in sustainable community-building in Shonai as we construct a new kind of relationship between cities and regions.

■ Vice Mayor Shigeki Motomiya of Yuza Town, Yamagata Pref.
I would like to express my gratitude for this donation. The Shonai-Yuza Solar Power Plant was constructed on a huge plot of land in Yuza Town and the visionary efforts to make use of the profits for sustainable community-building have now begun. We are looking forward very much to seeing the results of this.
In collaboration with the five parties that signed the joint statement, I would like to further promote environmental conservation activities and so on in Yuza Town.

■ Mr. Koichi Kato, Chairperson of Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union
Seikatsu Club has had connections with pork and rice producers here in Shonai for about 50 years. This relationship has been known by Seikatsu Club under terms such as “collective purchase” and “direct purchase from producers.” There are currently similar kinds of relationships spreading all over Japan. However, the relationship between the Shonai region and Seikatsu Club is always a special one, and we have continued to construct leading-edge model cases. The relations built up through food have advanced into the field of energy and are now poised to advance further into contributions to the communities. I would like to thank all of you for moving forward with us in these efforts.

Mr. Takayuki Watabe, Managing Director of Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union
The Shonai region and Seikatsu Club have built up their relationship with a focus on food. A little more than 10% of the total supply of goods worth 90 billion yen that are collectively purchased by Seikatsu Club are produced in Shonai, the depth of our relationship being reflected in this business scale. In the same way as we have placed priority on food in our relationship with Shonai, I would like to push forward our activities together with the five organizations that signed the joint declaration in our efforts for energy and community-building. We are looking forward to seeing the fund being put to use for these purposes.

Reference
■ Shonai-Yuza Solar Power Plant
The Shonai-Yuza Solar Power Plant, a grand spectacle that uses 31 hectares of idle land, became fully operable in April 2019 as a facility generating sufficient power for around 57,000 homes.
In the Shonai region of Yamagata Prefecture, which has deep connections with Seikatsu Club, activities are being positively carried out for the realization of the “Shonai FEC Self-sufficient Network Initiative*,” promoted by the Seikatsu Club Group and related organizations in the Shonai region. The Shonai-Yuza Solar Power Plant is an integral part of the activities of this initiative and sustainable community-building.
Overview of the Power Plant
Name: Shonai-Yuza Solar Power Plant
Operator: Shonai Natural Energy Generation Co., Ltd.
Power Sales Performance (April to December 2019) 16,120MWh

* Shonai FEC Self-sufficient Network Initiative: An initiative that aims to strengthen local communities, create employment and build a sustainable society through self-sufficiency in food (F), energy (E) and care (C) as far as possible within the communities of Shonai. The FEC self-sufficiency zone is an initiative advocated by the economic critic Katsuto Uchihashi.
Published on February 21, 2020

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