February 26, 2014


Local Businesses Commission Disabled Workers to Maintain Solar Power System

Keywords: Civil Society / Local Issues Diversity Local government Non-manufacturing industry Renewable Energy 

Mega Solar
Image by icoro Some Rights Reserved.

An association of solar power installation businesses in Misawa, a city in northern Japan's Aomori Prefecture, announced on November 25, 2013, that it has concluded an agreement to outsource maintenance work of "mega solar" large-scale solar power plants to Rakuseikai, a local social welfare corporation.

The association, founded by construction companies Seiken Sekkei, Kosaka Komuten, Namioka Densetsu, and Tajima Bankin, has built mega solar systems with a combined generation capacity of about 2,700 kilowatts (kW) in two locations with a total area of about 45,000 square meters in Misawa; full operation of the facilities began in June 2013.

As the systems require maintenance work, including weeding in summer, removing snow in winter, and cleaning the panels, the association asked a Misawa City council dedicated to supporting disabled people to examine candidate contractors. Consequently, the association decided to commission the Disabled Employment Trial Center Voice, an organization Rakuseikai operates to help people with disabilities prepare for work and make a living in the community. This is the first instance of disabled workers being entrusted with mega solar system maintenance in Aomori Prefecture.