Atsugi City to Use Solar Electricity for Public Facilities

2014/08/26 17:54
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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The government of Atsugi City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, announced Aug 22, 2014, that it has concluded an "agreement on the use of clean energy for public facilities (local production/local consumption model) in cooperation with solar power plants" with Kanagawa Denryoku and Orix Corp.

Kanagawa Denryoku (Atsugi City, Kanagawa Prefecture) is a subsidiary of Oizumi Corp. Electricity generated at Kanagawa Denryoku's mega (large-scale) solar power plant operating in the city will be used for public facilities in the city via Orix.

In the aim of promoting the use of renewable energy, the government of the city asked Kanagawa Denryoku to build a mega solar plant in 2013. However, it is not possible for a local government to directly purchase electricity generated by a mega solar plant. Therefore, Orix will purchase the electricity as a PPS (power producer and supplier) first, and the government will buy it from Orix and use it for 15 community centers in the city.

The government expects that it will directly benefit local communities due to, for example, an increase in tax revenue because the power plant and power producer are located in the city and that electricity costs will be cut by about ¥1.5 million (approx US$14,423) per year. As a local production/local consumption model involving a local government, power producer and PPS, there is a project in Nakanojo-machi, Gunma Prefecture.

"We are proud that it is a triune, innovative project," said Tsuneyoshi Kobayashi, the mayor of the city, at the ceremony for the conclusion of the agreement. "We will continue the local production and consumption of clean energy."

"The mega solar plant for the second phase will start operations at the end of this week, increasing the maximum output to about 4MW," Kanagawa Denryoku President Oizumi Seiji said. "I'm really glad that part of its electricity will be used in the region."

"It is very meaningful to make a new model that locally produces and consumes energy especially when energy issues are drawing increasing attention after the Great East Japan Earthquake," Orix said.

In March 2014, the government of the city formulated the "Atsugi Genki Regional Energy Concept Implementation Plan." And it is currently making efforts to realize an "environmentally-advanced city," focusing on "energy creation," "energy saving" and "energy storage."