Iitate-mura (village in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan) set up the "Kitakaze-to-Taiyo Kikin" fund financed by using, for example, the revenue from the renewable energy projects invested in by the village Sept 14, 2018.
The fund is expected to be used for software projects, for which the Japanese government's fund for reconstruction cannot be appropriated, such as events aimed at maintaining local communities and educational activities concerning renewable energy. The Kitakaze-to-Taiyo Kikin was approved in a village assembly meeting that took place on the same day.
The village considers renewable energy as one of the most important issues for reconstruction. It owns 45% of the shares of Iitate Madeina Renewable Energy Power Generation, which is the power producer (SPC: special purpose company) of "Iitate Madeina Solar Power Plant." Iitate Madeina Solar Power Plant is a mega (large-scale) solar power plant that has a total solar panel capacity of 11.8MW (grid capacity: 10MW) and started operation in March 2016. Also, the village invested in a solar power generation (PV) project near the "Madeina Kan" roadside station.
Moreover, on the premises of the Iitate Madeina Solar Power Plant, the village built two wind turbines with an output of 3.2MW each and will start operation of them in March 2019. By using an existing grid capacity for the mega solar plant, it plans to carry out "renewable energy cross power generation," which ensures a stable revenue from selling electricity by transmitting wind electricity when the amount of solar electricity falls short of the grid capacity at night or on a cloudy day.
At the time of introducing the wind power generation facilities, the name of the power plant will be changed to "Iitate Madeina Renewable Energy Cross Power Plant."
The amount of the dividend that the village receives from the renewable energy-based power generation projects is about ¥36 million (approx US$319,858) per year, and a stable dividend is expected for the future. So, the village set up the fund as a mechanism to contribute to the benefits of village people in a visible manner.
The principal is ¥385,000,000 including contributions and donations from private solar power generation business operators. The village will continue to reserve dividends. The name of the fund, "Kitakaze-to-Taiyo Kikin (north wind and sun fund)," was decided in consideration of the renewable energy cross power generation, which uses both wind and solar power (See related article).