Japan to expand wind energy

The utilities in the Chubu, Hokuriki, Kansai, Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu regions agreed on the move aimed at meeting mounting expectations for such green energy in the wake of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Three utilities in the Tokyo, Tohoku and Hokkaido regions in eastern Japan are also moving to take similar measures.

As wind turbines generation is greatly affected by climate in terms of power output fluctuation and thermal power generation is used to adjust wind-power output, it is difficult for utilities with small thermal power output to expand their wind power output.

The six utilities are therefore planning a system to transmit surplus power created by wind power generation to utilities in need to help them increase their adjusting power.

In the first step, they plan to build a system by next July, in which Hokuriku Electric Power Co. and Shikoku Electric Power Co., both with smaller adjusting power, will transmit surplus power to Chubu Electric Power Co. and Kansai Electric Power Co., both with larger adjusting power, to increase their acceptance of wind-power output by about 200,000 kilowatts.