Abdul Latif Jameel catches power from the breeze in ‘Wind Town’, Hokkaido
Abdul Latif Jameel General Trading, Japan, is a progressive developer of clean energy and actively seeks to expand our renewable energy operations in the country.
In November 2018, the team established its first two ‘micro’ wind turbines at Cape Erimo – Japan’s so-called ‘Wind Town’ – on the south-east corner Hokkaido, the country’s northernmost major island. This is the first in a series of pilot wind energy projects, planned across Japan, working in partnership Abdul Latif Jameel Energy.
With a capacity of 20 KW each, these new installations will bring the total micro-turbines to be delivered through this project to 20: 6 in Hokkaido, 12 units in Aomori and 2 in Akita. Their combined power will generate a total of 400 KW into the national grid: enough to supply energy to around 400 typical homes and saving around 1,000 tons of CO2 annually through 20-year agreements with regional power companies Hokkaido Electric Power Company and Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc. respectively.
The local team (pictured above) research wind and solar potential, identifying economically viable sites, then design, construct and operate renewable energy solutions. They seek to rapidly develop and scale this wind power project: “In the future, we will build 50 or more units of similar small-scale wind turbines, and from 2019 some much larger capacity units. This will be in partnership with Abdul Latif Jameel Energy’s renewables business ‘FRV’, and contribute positively to extending the clean energy business across Japan” commented Shigeki Enami, President and CEO, Abdul Latif Jameel General Trading.
The micro wind turbines project is successful as it remains sensitive to environmental and local community considerations. Mr Enami added: “At each stage of the site assessment and development, we frequently consult and look to develop a close relationship with local communities.”
The significant wind-power potential across Hokkaido and Tohoku is a valuable natural resource and presents opportunities to develop the local economy and cultivate Japan’s green-energy sector. Erimo is one of the strong wind potential areas in Japan. In ‘Wind Town’ the wind blows at over 10 meters per minute for more than 260 days a year.
Looking further forward, the team plans to reach an output of over 50 MW by 2022, and double this to 100 MW by 2027.
In Japan’s electricity sector wind power today only generates a small proportion of the country’s electricity. As of 2015, Japan had a total installed capacity of 3,167 MW. Government targets for wind power deployment are relatively low when compared to other nations, at 1.7% of electricity production by 2030. It has been estimated that Japan has the potential for 144 GW of onshore wind and 608 GW of offshore wind capacity.
Cape Erimo is well known in Japan for Shinichi Mori’s enka song Erimo Misaki. Located at the southern-most tip of the Hidaka mountain range, and said to be the geological ‘backbone’ of Hokkaido, the Cape is known for its magnificent natural scenery, as well as being famous as a harbor seal habitat.
Well-known sightseeing spots at Cape Erimo include its white lighthouse and the Wind Museum Kaze no Yakata (House of Wind).
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