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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Celebrates Commercial Operation Launch of Brighter Future Solar Project
-- The project will generate 19,000 megawatt hours of renewable carbon-free electricity annually and will benefit the consumers in North Western region of North Carolina --

PV Panels for the Brighter Future Solar Project

PV Panels for the Brighter Future Solar Project

Launch event for the Brighter Future Solar Project

Launch event for the Brighter Future Solar Project

HOUSTON, TEXAS (February 23, 2022) - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group celebrates the launch of the Brighter Future Solar project, which successfully achieved a Commercial Operation Date as of January 27, 2022. The 15.7MWdc/11MWac solar photovoltaic (PV) project will provide clean power for Blue Ridge Energy in North Carolina, United States.

“This is the latest step on the path to a decarbonized world,” said Yoshihiro Shiraiwa, President and CEO, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, at a launch event on February 22. “It is a blueprint for other communities looking to increase renewable energy and reach net-zero. Additionally, it represents one of the many ways MHI is partnering with other organizations, businesses and stakeholders to build a more sustainable future.”

The Brighter Future Solar project will generate and send 19,000 megawatt hours of carbon-free electricity into the grid annually. The energy will be used by surrounding communities, allowing them to meet their decarbonization goals on — or even ahead of — schedule.

The town of Boone, North Carolina recently announced its municipal operations have converted to using 100 percent renewable energy, hitting the milestone eight years ahead of the town’s goal. Solar energy from Blue Ridge Energy contributes to 75 percent of their energy usage.

“We are excited to “Flip the Switch” and celebrate the beneficial impact the Brighter Future Solar facility will have on our members living in northwest North Carolina, said Doug Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Blue Ridge Energy. “We set out to meet an ambitious goal that included significant carbon reduction while also making sure we look out for our members and keep the promise of low cost electricity in mind. Not only will the output of this energy help us Power a Brighter Future, it will also help us maintain stable electricity rates, saving our members money over time,” said Johnson.

MHI, in partnership with Osaka Gas USA, purchased equity interest in the Brighter Future Solar Farm from project developer Oriden, an MHI Group company, in September 2021.

MHI Group is committed to building an innovative solutions ecosystem to realize a carbon neutral future. The global company identifies investment opportunities in carbon reduction projects and climate tech start-ups to accelerate its energy transition activities.

Located in Pittsburgh, Oriden develops, constructs, finances, owns and operates renewable energy projects throughout the United States. As local governments, public institutions and corporations prioritize cleaner sources for their energy needs, they want a developer with the ingenuity, the agility and the speed of a start-up — a fearless pioneer. But they also want to mitigate risk with a proven veteran that has the financial strength and experience to develop, commercialize, operate and own a highly complex project. Oriden is a full-service renewable energy developer funded by Mitsubishi Power Americas, Inc., an industry leader in power generation, renewables and energy storage solutions. For more information, please visit

Osaka Gas USA (OGUSA) strives to contribute to achieving a low carbon/carbon neutral society by developing renewables as well as natural gas-fired power plants. OGUSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Osaka Gas Co., Ltd ("Osaka Gas") formed to develop, construct, acquire and manage energy businesses throughout North America.

Blue Ridge Energy is an electric cooperative serving some 78,000 members in the western North Carolina counties of Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes, Avery and Alexander. Focused on meeting sustainability goals while upholding reliability and affordability for its members, Blue Ridge Energy is focused on efforts that make the grid more flexible, efficient, resilient and capable of supporting new energy solutions and the vitality of the communities it serves. In addition to receiving solar energy from the large-scale Brighter Future array, Blue Ridge Energy also receives solar power for the local grid from its five community solar gardens.

Tags: solar power,energy transition,carbon neutral

About MHI Group

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group is one of the world’s leading industrial groups, spanning energy, smart infrastructure, industrial machinery, aerospace and defense. MHI Group combines cutting-edge technology with deep experience to deliver innovative, integrated solutions that help to realize a carbon neutral world, improve the quality of life and ensure a safer world. For more information, please visit or follow our insights and stories on