PayPal co-founder donates solar power project to Soma City in Fukushima


American entrepreneur and philanthropist Elon Musk, through his Musk Foundation, has donated $250,000 to build a solar power system in Soma City, in Fukushima Prefecture. Last week, Musk -- who co-founded PayPal and Tesla Motors -- visited an area of Soma City that was devastated by a tsunami earlier this year, for a ceremony at the site where the project will be built.

SolarCity is donating time and resources to manage the project, which will provide renewable electricity to a city facility located on reclaimed industrial land not suitable for agriculture.

The solar arrays will consist of high-efficiency solar panels manufactured in Japan, and will be installed by local workers in Fukushima. The project will create local construction jobs and can act as a model for the reuse of disaster-stricken areas in other parts of Japan for clean energy generation.

Much of the eastern portion of Soma was flooded by a devastating tsunami following a massive earthquake on March 11. The city is about 43 kilometers north of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the site of the nuclear accident caused by the tsunami. Soma City’s agriculture, dairy and fishing industries were devastated by the tsunami, and tourism has been hurt by concerns about any lasting effects of the nuclear disaster.

Despite Soma City’s proximity to the Fukushima plant, the winds and topography have protected the city and prevented the need for citizens to evacuate. Musk said he hopes that by visiting the region, he can demonstrate that it is safe for others, both within and outside of Japan, to do so.

“We are grateful to Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation for this generous gift, and for coming such a long way to personally visit Soma City,” said Soma Mayor Hidekiyo Tachiya. “Recovery requires us to build new industries, and our next generation wants them to be supported by new kinds of energy. With this project as a beginning, Soma City hopes to become a model for Japan’s energy future.”

The Soma City project will be the Musk Foundation’s second donated solar project the last 12 months. The Musk Foundation donated the funds and SolarCity donated labor to build a solar power system for a hurricane response center in southern Alabama in December 2010, to provide renewable power with battery backup to an area that had been devastated by Hurricane Katrina and the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

© Business Wire

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This article apparently assumes the whole world knows who Elon Musk is... would be nice to mention his background in association with this generous contribution to the recovery effort.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It says;

Musk who co-founded Pay Pal and Tesla Motors

Right there in the first paragraph, or did JT add that as a response to your comment? Anyway this guy is involved in lots of interesting stuff like SpaceX andTesla Motors

Japan need more guys like Musk and Son and less of the stone age company presidents that are common in Japanese business today.

3 ( +3 / -0 )


Why am I not allowed to write Pay-Pal as one word? I got a warning about offensive content when I tried to quote the line from the article.

Moderator: It is blocked to prevent spammers bombarding us with messages.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Indeed the world would be a better place with more people like Elon Musk whose purpose in business is not only self enrichment and greed which seems to be the standard these days. Thank you Mr. Musk!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Thanks JT for amending the article and headline... :-)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As usual it takes foreign innovation and initiative to truly get things going over there, and they even make it so that it will create domestic jobs! Good job, Musk. Meanwhile the LDP and DPJ are busy fighting over the reigns of power and laying claims to rocks that are not theirs. Sad situation, and this is a gleam of light.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Bravo Mr. Musk. Why can't the J-Gov make these kinds of projects?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why can't the J-Gov make these kinds of projects?

They do.

"To accelerate the introduction of renewable energy, METI has been implementing measures such as support in the form of subsidies and tax incentives, the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS), and the buyback program for photovoltaic generation."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

fight for power, right

Power is a good thing if you can use it for the right cause.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

yeah, it is a good news, I'm sure everyone apreciates it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My parents taught me to say thank you when someone help me and say sorry when I did wrong to others. That's the most humbling thing you can do as a decent human being. It takes a strong man to do this.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

And we are reading these posts objectively. No kidding.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Me? I'm just making a simple statement. Me? I'm gratful but I'm also skepticable. People don't give out free money for no reason. Some give to charity because they get good will or entice others to join them and some just do it.

I'm skeptical of their donation, what exactly do they want in return.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

People don't give out free money for no reason

Some do in the US.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Heythia- Skeptical or Paranoid? These, there may be some benefit for his companies by making donations (or, if you must, demonstrations of their technology), but assuming that everyone is only helping others for their own personal gain is just plain cynical. What is it you are really mad about?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Some do in the US." Some do in Japan too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hide, amen to all of these people who have a goodness in heart. The world is still in hands of these good people who live in hope, dream and future. Hope you can join, Hide.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


Power is a good thing if you can use it for the right cause.

reminds me of the quote,

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

It seems, now we have found that this goes for nuclear power as well. And that great men doesn't need to be bad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Power is a good thing if you can use it for THE RIGHT CAUSE. The right cause is a key.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is populism, because power from Solar on Earth and power from atomic electro station are very different levels. Solar Space Power Station project from JAXA is more adequacy alternative.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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