Japanese energy experts research DMEA?s solar energy program

On April 26, representatives of the Japan Electric Power Information Center (JEPIC) and Kyushu Electric Power Company met with the Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) to research the Colorado electric distribution co-op’s community solar array program.

Because of the Fukushima nuclear plant accident, Japan is looking to reduce reliance on nuclear power. To accomplish this, the Japanese power utilities are looking for ways to accelerate the rate at which they are integrating more renewable energy resources into their power grid.

After hearing a presentation by Jim Heneghan, DMEA’s renewable energy engineer, at a utility conference, Koichi Koyama of the Japan Electric Power Information Center, Inc. (JEPIC) scheduled the trip to Montrose for a detailed discussion of the economics of the community solar array as well as a tour of the photovoltaic (PV) array itself.

Japan Electric Power Information Center, Inc. (JEPIC) was established in 1958 as a non-profit association of the electric utility industry in Japan in order to meet the increasing needs for a systematic and sustained exchange of information with the electric utility industries in the world.

Joining Koyama in the research visit was Takahiro Immaru of Kyushu Electric Power, a company that generates, transmits, and distributes electricity on Japan’s southernmost island. Kyushu Electric Power serves more than eight million residential and business customers in the Kyushu region.

"We’re honored and pleased that programs developed by a relatively small electric co-op are of interest to representatives of major utilities in one of the world’s most technologically-sophisticated nations," said Dan McClendon, DMEA’s general manager.