Total Capacity of Solar Plants Exceeds Limit in Okinawa

2014/08/05 15:51
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute

The Okinawa Electric Power Co Inc (OEPC) announced July 31, 2014, that the connection of a solar power plant to the power grid is expected to be difficult for those who will submit applications in and after August 2014.

The company announced Dec 24, 2013, that the total capacity of 300kW or higher-capacity solar power generation facilities connected to the grid had exceeded the limit. Also, it announced July 9, 2014, that it would temporarily stop replying to applications for connection with regard to all kinds of solar power generation facilities including residential (10kW or lower-capacity) systems.

According to the latest announcement, the applications that were made in July 2014 or earlier are expected to be accepted. The connectable capacity increased due to the following three measures. First, thermal power generators started to be operated at the lowest possible output. Second, the renewable energy-based facilities owned by OEPC stopped operations. Third, part of the connectable capacity of wind power generation systems was used for solar power systems.

With regard to applications to be made in August 2014 or later, OEPC will provide consultation if an applicant will stop solar power generation for a certain period of time or install a power storage system at the plant.

Specifically, the certain period of time is three months from February to April, when the power demand-supply balance becomes difficult to achieve. And the power storage system needs to be used for storing all the electricity generated during the day and discharging it from 18:00 to 25:00.