Today from Tokyo Honda announced renewed plans to assemble a test track to develop safety technologies – a new purpose for the track first planed several years ago – and it will now be powered by a massive solar energy generating field also being constructed.
The 10 megawatts of energy generated at the facility located in Sakura in Tochigi prefecture, Japan, will come via 70,000 solar panels on an 81.5 acre plot of ground. These will reside next to the 2.5-mile track being constructed on 61.8 acres.
The track was first envisioned as a high-speed circuit at what might be said to be the end of another era in 2007.
In 2008, Honda was hit with economic recession and thus shelved its plans. Now five years later, the company says it perceives a brighter economic outlook to begin where it left off, but it is readjusting to a shifted social and environmental paradigm.
Instead of the test course being a virtual race track, Honda says it took notice of changes in the automotive industry leading toward sustainability and decided to modify the purpose and scale of the new road course.
This is why the new track will become a center to shake down automotive safety technologies, says the automaker.
As for the solar field, this will generate more energy than Honda needs, and plans will be to sell off the excess some time beginning in 2015 when the field is completed.
To show itself a good and green corporate citizen, Honda also plans to build a “biotope” open to the local community to come and enjoy.
Honda has demonstrated itself mindful of global environmental issues before, and this latest endeavor toward preservation of life and property, as well as the natural landscape and generation of renewable energy is more of the same.