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Mountains of snow to power high-tech air-con

as cold as ice...

It's not quite that time of year yet, but we're taking a hefty pinch of salt with this report that Japanese electronics giant Denso is building a new factory that it plans to cool with stored snow.

Apparently, the car-parts factory will be built in Chitose in Hokkaido, the most northerly of Japan's main islands. Months of sub-zero temperatures make it the ideal location for gathering the tons of snow needed - or so the story goes.

Green track record

We're told huge stockpiles of snow are to be used to power the plant's air-conditioning system in an effort to reduce Denso's electricity bills and to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

The company has yet to respond to requests for comment but, given its track record in reusing water and trialling wind power, we'll give it the benefit of the doubt until tomorrow morning at least.