A bright idea: 4,570 solar panels, the Tokyo Tech way 環境エネルギーイノベーション棟

What do 4,570 solar panels look like? You can see for yourself when walking from Midorigaoka Station 緑が丘駅 to Ookayama Station 大岡山駅. There you will find an ostentatious display of green energy that takes the concept of solar paneling to its logical extreme. The Environmental Energy Innovation Building 環境エネルギーイノベーション棟 (Green Hills Building 1 グリーンヒルズ1号館) is wedged into a tight corner of the Ookayama campus of the Tokyo Institute of Technology 東京工業大学 (TITECH/Tokyo Tech); it sits so close to a tangle of train tracks that the passing subway cars become part of the building’s aesthetic. The building was completed in February, 2012.

The building will be used for “the research of cutting edge environmental energy technologies”, which presumably means the pursuit of more buildings like this one. The panels of this building provide 650 kW of energy, which sounds like a lot but then I realize I have no idea how big a kilowatt is. (Source: Titech webpage, no longer active link)

(A kilowatt is equivalent to 5 hours of surfing the internet. So 650 kW = 3250 hours, or roughly 135 days. source)


And if cutting edge technology isn’t your thing, you may still want to visit this neighborhood for the unobstructed views of Mount Fuji. I was pleasantly surprised to partially glimpse Fuji-san on this July afternoon.

Videos of the building from YouTube:

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