Best wind power than nuclear power – New Wind Energy Plant in Southern Japan

Eurus Energy Holdings Corp., a unit of Tokyo Electric Power Co., has completed a 30 MW wind farm in southern Japan. The new wind farm on the Osumi peninsula in Kagoshima prefecture with 15 wind turbines made by Japan Steel Works Ltd. started operations on March 18.

The announcement comes as the parent company, known as TEPCO, tries to bring a damaged nuclear energy plant under control five weeks after a deadly quake and tsunami to the north and amid public concerns about possible power outages.

The latest addition will bring the company’s total wind energy generation capacity to more than 2 gigawatts, according to Mitsue Usami, a spokeswoman for Japan’s biggest wind farm operator. Outside Japan, Eurus Energy operates farms in South Korea, the United States and Europe.

According to data provided by the Japan Wind Power Association, no wind farm in Japan was damaged by the recent earthquake and by the tsunami. As of the end of 2010, Japan had a total installed wind energy capacity of 2304 MW, with 1746 wind turbines.

Kamisu offshore wind farm became the first survivor against a tsunami in the world. There are seven units of 2 MW SUBARU80/2.0 wind turbines on monopile foundations, about 40m offshore from the coast. Kamisu is located about 300 km from the epicenter of the earthquake, and an about 5 m height tsunami hit this area. But the Kamisu offshore wind farm has survived and is now in operation.

Also these results suggest that the anti-earthquake construction design of wind farms in Japan is very reliable. Japan has proven to be a world leader in such so-called "battle proof design".

Most of the wind turbines installed in Japan are in operation now. As the electricity is temporarily running short at the Eastern part of Japan, these wind turbines contribute to the national electricity supply.

WWEA Vice President Prof. Chuichi Arakawa: "Now we have to make strong efforts in Japan to focus much more on renewables, especially wind power, for the next road map of energy and environment. Various studies have shown that Japan is blessed with an abundance of wind and other renewable resources which can be used to rebuild and strengthen our country. We need some time to summarize this situation while taking Japanese mentality into account. However, I am confident that Japan will draw the necessary conclusions from the recent incidents and hopefully start to become a renewable energy nation."

Veterans of the Three Mile Island cleanup in Pennsylvania have said Japanese engineers need to improve the condition of Fukushima Daiichi reactors. The Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in Dauphin County, United States suffered a heavy setback after an accident led to a core meltdown in unit two of the plant in 1979. It was the most significant accident in the history of the USA commercial nuclear power generating industry, resulting in the release of up to 481 P Bq (13 million curies) of radioactive gases, and less than 740 GBq (20 curies) of iodine-131. "The cores are probably really similar, partially melted."

In Japan, four separate reactors are damaged, and fixing each one is complicated by the presence of its leaking neighbours, he said, adding that a major infusion of equipments would be required to replace parts like pumps and switchgears that were destroyed by the tsunami.