Wind Farm Proposed for Tokyo

A subsidiary of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said Thursday it had submitted to the Tokyo metropolitan government a plan to ask Tokyo residents to invest in a wind-operated power station to generate electricity.

TOKYO, Japan 2002-03-18 [] TEPCO plans to seek 2,000 Tokyo residents to invest in its plan to build two big windmills on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay, if its submission is accepted. The metropolitan government has called for plans for pilot projects that use wind to generate electricity. It is to consider the merits of each and approve one by the end of the month. TEPCO said if its idea is approved, it would seek 2,000 people to each invest 100,000 yen to fund construction of the facility, which would produce electricity to be sold to 100 companies in the city. It is rare for companies to call for resident’s involvement in establishing wind-operated power stations. Observers hope the idea will promote the use of clean energy resources. Five companies including TEPCO subsidiary Japan Natural Energy Co. and Kandenko Co. have agreed to establish a company to manage the facility from March 2003 for a period of 20 years. Investors would receive an annual dividend of 1 to 3 percent of their investment during the operating period. Their initial outlay, which is considered an investment rather than donation to environmental causes, would be repaid after about 15 years. The companies plan to build, at a cost of 430 million yen, two 73-meter-high windmills capable of generating 1,000 kW of electricity. The windmills would be sited on reclaimed land in Rinkai Fukutoshin in Koto Ward. They would produce enough electricity to supply power to 800 homes. Electricity generated in the facility would be certified as “green energy,” under the government program and sold to 100 companies. Electricity from the “green” power generator likely would annually cost at least 400,000 yen more than electricity purchased from regular sources. But firms that source their electricity from such generators would be certified as making contributions to the natural environment. The government’s program aims to encourage small environmentally friendly power-generation companies. Seven other groups of companies have submitted proposals to the government’s pilot project.
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