• Japan’s Fukushima prefecture is planned to have 11 solar power plants and 10 wind power project capacity, as per a news report by Nikkei Asian Review
  • The projects are expected to together account for 600 MW of capacity in all and will be developed on non-cultivable land and in mountainous regions
  • As per the report, the projects will cost around JPY 300 billion and should be coming up by March 2024
  • Another 80-km wide grid will also be constructed within Fukushima to be connected to the Tokyo Electric Power’s transmission network

Devastated by the 2011 earthquake and the nuclear disaster that followed, Japan’s Fukushima prefecture may just be looking towards a turnaround with the help of renewables. The region may soon host as much as 600 MW of renewable energy capacity, reported Nikkei Asian Review.

This capacity is likely to come from 11 solar power and 10 wind power plants to be established on farmlands that ‘cannot be cultivated anymore and mountainous areas from where population outflows continue’. Japan’s nuclear power plans suffered a hit after the country faced a tsunami triggered earthquake that damaged the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant leading to radioactive radiation.

Nikkei reports the total cost of the these projects is likely to be in the ballpark of JPY 300 billion ($2.75 billion) until the fiscal year ending in March 2024.

Power generated by these projects will be supplied to the Tokyo metropolitan area through a new 80-km wide grid which is planned to be constructed within Fukushima to connect the generated power with the power transmission network of Tokyo Electric Power Co., with an expected cost of JPY 29 billion ($0.27 billion).

While the individual capacity of these projects or the exact share of the two technologies, as well as developer details are unknown, the news report claims financing to support construction cost is ready with the government-owned Development Bank of Japan and private lender Mizuho Bank among financiers that have prepared a line of credit.

In October 2018, Toshiba and IHI Corporation scrapped their joint venture to manufacture steam turbine parts for nuclear power plants for domestic and overseas markets to focus on renewables as the company faced lower capacity utilization for their factory owing to loss of demand (see Japanese Firms Scrap Nuclear JV For Renewables).

While the Japanese government strives to bring nuclear power plants back online, local resistance and new safety standards high, and in June 2019, only 9 of the 54 pre-Fukushima operating reactors were up and running again.