| June 5, 2024

CEO John Grimes Off On An Adventure: First Destination - Panasonic's Hydrogen Fuel Cell factory

First destination: Panasonic’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell factory


Welcome to the H2 Kibou Field, Panasonic’s demonstration facility nestled within the Smart Energy System Business Division’s Kusatsu Factory in the Shiga Prefecture.


The facility was built as a demonstration of a Panasonic renewable energy solution, known as RE100 (Renewable Energy 100%), in which 100% of the power used for site operations is generated from renewable resources. It is part of a self-sustaining power system that combines generation from both pure hydrogen and solar sources.


This cutting-edge field stands as a testament to renewable energy advancement, housing a modular system that seamlessly integrates various sustainable tech:

  • 570kW of electricity generated by solar panels
  • 495kW from pure hydrogen fuel cells
  • 1.1 MWh of lithium-ion storage batteries

Together, they form a dynamic ecosystem capable of generating and storing a massive amount of smart, renewable energy; the power generated by this system aims to fully power the fuel cell factory in Kusatsu and is optimised to ensure a stable supply that is not impacted by weather conditions.


Panasonic’s H2 Kibou Field marks a historic milestone as the world’s pioneering endeavour in establishing an RE100 factory solely powered by hydrogen, and the Smart Energy Council is incredibly proud and excited to work alongside innovative member companies such as Panasonic.

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Smart Energy Council’s CEO John Grimes visiting Panasonic Japan’s H2 Kibou Field Facility alongside Toshiki Shimuzu, Senior Advisor of Fuel Cell & H2 Business within the Sustainable Energy Business Unit, Toshikatsu Yoshikawa, Assistant Chief of Overseas Sales and Marketing, and the Panasonic Japan team.

Photo: H2 KIBOU FIELD at Panasonic’s Kusatsu plant in Shiga, Japan



A Closer Look

The coordinated operation of multiple 5 kW pure hydrogen fuel cell generators ensures a steady provision of high power, adaptable to the specific layout of site buildings and operational needs of the factory. This dynamic management of generation based on demand minimizes strain on the generators, helping to maximise their lifespan. Furthermore, it allows for maintenance to be conducted seamlessly without halting factory operations.


This modular system will complement the on-site solar generation, which necessitates a sizeable installation area and is susceptible to weather conditions. Additionally, the storage batteries enable the system to maintain a stable supply of electricity required for operations even during peak consumption periods by effectively controlling the power supply from the fuel cell generators and the storage batteries..


Panasonic aims to support the transition towards a carbon-neutral society through its enduring environmental vision, “Panasonic GREEN IMPACT” by advocating for innovative approaches that broaden the utilisation of renewable energy sources including hydrogen.



Energy Put In Action

This is the same generator stationed at the ATCO Clean Energy Innovation Hub (CEIH) in Jandakot, Western Australia. The project marked the first Australian test demonstration of Panasonic’s pure hydrogen fuel cells.

Panasonic firmly believes in hydrogen being a fuel for a sustainable future, and is seeking to make a notable contribution to advancing carbon neutrality through the practical application of advanced hydrogen fuel cells in buildings and for power generation.

Hydrogen fuel cells are a stable green power generation technology regardless of the weather or time of day.” said Max Fujita, Overseas Sales & Marketing Manager in the Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Strategic Business Unit of Panasonic Corporation’s Electric Works Company.



Panasonic – Delivering A Renewable Future

As global interest in hydrogen surges, initiatives like these are instrumental in bridging the supply gap and propelling renewable energy transitions across vital sectors such as transport, buildings, and power generation. This ambitious achievement resonates deeply with the mission of our Zero Carbon Hydrogen Australia.




Panasonic powers up commercial hydrogen fuel cell presence in Australia

Panasonic is set to debut commercial sales of Hydrogen Fuel Cells in Australia starting October 2024, in response to the country’s burgeoning green hydrogen sector. The launch will feature the PH3, the latest iteration of its H2 KIBOU pure hydrogen fuel cell generator, capable of producing DC power with a maximum capacity of 10kW—twice the capacity of its predecessor, the PH1 model (5kW). This move underscores Panasonic’s commitment to advancing hydrogen fuel cell technology through ongoing research and development. Australia, alongside Europe and China (outside Japan), has been identified as a key focus region for the PH3 model’s launch, signalling Panasonic’s dedication to expanding its presence in the domestic renewable energy sector and global hydrogen market.

Read the full media release here.



Stay tuned for the next leg of John’s journey: NIO



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CEO John Grimes Off On An Adventure: First Destination - Panasonic's Hydrogen Fuel Cell factory