Fukushima to become solar, wind hub

Fukushima to become solar, wind hub

Japan is pursuing a 300 billion ($2.75 billion) yen project to transform disaster-struck Fukushima prefecture into a clean-energy hub, with the development’s first solar farm scheduled to start in January.

Building wind and solar farms on agricultural land tainted by radiation from the 2011 Dai-Ichi plant meltdown will help rejuvenate the area, which also suffered earthquake and tsunami damage, Masashi Takeuchi, the head of the energy division at the Fukushima prefectural government, said.

The venture includes plans for 11 solar farms and 10 wind farms with total capacity of 600 megawatts and is scheduled for completion by March 2024. The government plans to contribute 30 billion yen of subsidies and the Nikkei reported earlier the Development Bank of Japan and Mizuho Bank are among the institutions planning to provide financing.

The first solar farm will probably be a 20 megawatt project in Minamisoma city in the northern part of Fukushima prefecture, according to Takeuchi. Fukushima, which provided nuclear power to Tokyo prior to the disaster, is transforming its energy policy as Tepco scraps reactors amid public concern about their safety.

Source: Bloomberg