TOKYO — Orix Corp., a Tokyo-based finance and leasing company, plans to build as many as 15 geothermal power stations in Japan in the next five years.
The company, which has been developing solar and biomass projects, is conducting geological surveys in Hokkaido and Aomori prefectures in the country’s north, Tamaki Shibata, an Orix spokeswoman, said by phone this week.
Orix plans to invest as much as 25 billion yen ($246 million), the Nikkei newspaper reported today. Estimates at this stage are premature, Shibata said.
The company will focus on smaller plants of about 2 megawatts as they can be set up more quickly, Shibata said. Environmental impact assessments for plants with 7.5 megawatts of capacity or more are often required, according to the environment ministry’s website.
Its survey process is as follows:
1. Hakodate city, Hokkaido prefecture
- Survey location: Minamikayabe region, Hakodate city, Hokkaido prefecture (in the vicinity of Mt. Nakitsura)
- Survey content: Initial stage survey (study the existence of geothermal resource reserve through surface survey, document investigation, and aerial photo analysis)
- Survey period: June, 2014 to October, 2014 (tentative)
2. Kazamaura village, Shimokita county, Aomori prefecture
- Survey location: the area surrounding Shimofuro hotspring site in Kazamaura village, Shimokita county, Aomori prefecture
- Survey content: Physical exploration (investigate the depth and location of potential underground geothermal resource reserve through magnetic prospecting and gravity prospecting)
- Survey period: June, 2014 to February, 2015 (tentative)
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Lead image: Geothermal plant via Shutterstock