Softbank President Discusses 'Asia Super Grid'

2016/09/13 21:34
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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Masayoshi Son, chair of Renewable Energy Institute, delivered a lecture. (source: Nikkei BP)
Son said that the business feasibility of the Asia Super Grid started to become clear. (source: Nikkei BP)

Masayoshi Son, chair of Renewable Energy Institute (president of the Softbank group), delivered a lecture at a symposium to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the institute and disclosed the current status of the "Asia Super Grid Plan" Sept 9, 2016.

In regard to its renewable energy-based power generation business, Softbank has been steadily making progress. Currently, SB Energy Corp, a subsidiary of Softbank, runs 33 solar/wind power plants in Japan. Softbank is also developing renewable energy-based power plants in Mongolia, which is more suited for wind power generation than Japan, and in India, which is suited for solar power generation.

In Mongolia, Softbank obtained a permission to use land on which 70GW of wind power plants can be built for 100 years and has already developed small-scale wind power plants. In India, it developed a 350MW solar power plant, planning to build 20GW of solar power plants in the country.

"Probably, we will develop the world's largest-scale solar power plant in India," Son said.

Along with the development of renewable energy-based power plants outside Japan, the Asia Super Grid Plan started to be realized.

Meeting with former chair of State Grid Corp of China

The turning point was when Son met Liu Zhenya, former chair of State Grid Corp of China (SGCC), in January 2016. Son found that Zhenya had a similar plan, and they became kindred spirits right away, Son said.

Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) and OAO Rosseti (a power distribution firm based in Russia), which Son and Zhenya approached, showed interest. And the four companies singed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for researches and project planning in the aim of promoting the cross-border connection of power grids in March 2016 (See related article).