Softbank Plans to Develop Wind Power in Mongolia

Softbank Corp. (9984), the Japanese mobile phone company planning to invest $20 billion in Sprint Nextel Corp. (S), plans to develop wind farm projects in Mongolia.

SB Energy Corp., Softbank’s clean energy unit, will set up a venture with Mongolia’s Newcom LLC as early as this month to conduct feasibility studies on wind power generation.

The venture will this year examine a site in the Gobi desert which may have a capacity of as much as 300 megawatts of wind power, he said. Should Softbank and Newcom decide to build a wind farm there, operations may start in 2014, according to the spokesman. Nakayama declined to confirm a Nikkei report today that the project will cost about 50 billion yen ($626 million). The venture is also considering three more sites in the Gobi, he said, adding that the four sites could have a total capacity of more than 7,000 megawatts.

Softbank President Masayoshi Son has been investing in renewable energy after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Son is also promoting an “Asia Super Grid” plan to connect power grids from India to Tokyo to allow for stable power supply and boost the use of renewable energy in the region. “This venture is the first step for the Asia Super Grid plan as Mongolia has the potential to become an energy supply station,” Nakayama said.