Elkem-donated solar system opened at Japanese school

On November 9, Rikke Lind, Deputy Minister of the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, and Trond Sæterstad, Senior Vice President of Elkem Solar, opened a YEN 15 million solar plant at Ishinomaki Commercial High School in Tohoku, one of the areas that were hit hardest by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan earlier this year.

Hundreds of the school’s students had turned up to witness the opening ceremony of the solar system that Elkem has donated to the school.

"Elkem's donation is a good example of practical social responsibility from a Norwegian company, and I encourage others to let themselves be inspired by this,” says Deputy Minister Rikke Lind.

“Elkem has a long history of friendship and strong relations with our Japanese partners. After the tragedy in March this year, we felt that it was only natural for us to make a contribution. It is our hope that the solar cell system will awake interest and fascination for renewable energy among young students today, so that they may become future promoters for sustainable energy. We are grateful for the assistance and participation of the Deputy Minister, the Norwegian Embassy and Innovation Norway. We would also like to thank our Japanese partners Kyocera, Silicon Plus and S-Power for ensuring that this project was carried out in an exemplary manner,” says Elkem Solar’s Senior Vice President, Trond Sæterstad.

From left to right: Norwegian Ambassador to Japan Arne Walther,President of Elkem Japan Hiroyuki Date, Deputy Minister Rikke Lind and Senior Vice President of Elkem Solar Trond Sæterstad

"It was hard to see the devastation after the earthquake and tsunami with my own eyes and meet the students. This area has been hit by massive devastations and extreme sufferings. It's great that Norway and Norwegian companies are helping to rebuild the area," says Lind.

"Access to renewable energy is becoming increasingly important for Japan, and has become further actualized by the disaster at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima. The solar-cell system is an excellent example of a collaborative project based on advanced, Norwegian and Japanese technology, and something we would like to see more of! It's great to see that the solar system has come into place so quickly; so that the school can get started using it and students can learn more about renewable energy," says Lind.


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