Based on the costs calculated by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), in the case of small hydroelectric generation with an output less than 100kW, the construction cost is ¥1 million per kilowatt. On the other hand, the cost of less-than-200kW small hydroelectric power plants (197 cases) is ¥3.07 million per kilowatt on average (median value: ¥1.94 million). So, the smaller the power generation output, the higher the cost tends to be.
Tohoku Small Hydropower will engage in research and development in collaboration with Toyota Tsusho Corp and Waseda University. Toyota Tsusho will be responsible for (1) the supply of the EV unit of the Prius HV, (2) check/evaluation in fatigue tests and (3) the application of the feedback from the variable-speed control operation to control devices. Waseda University will conduct fatigue tests by using a device for testing an axial-flow turbine model and research and develop a low-cost water turbine by using variable-speed operation control and changing manufacturing methods.
Tohoku Small Hydropower targets the business at water supply facilities and irrigation facilities in Japan as well as overseas markets such as in Middle East and Southeast Asia. The company aims to sell 10 units in Japan in the first year and 50 units in Japan and 450 units outside Japan (500 units in total) in the sixth year and achieve a cumulative unit sales of 1,140 in six years.