Toyota Tsusho [8015:JP], a Japanese trading business, will build a wind power plant with a capacity of 540 megawatts (MW) in Hokkaido next year to transport renewable energy to Tokyo, as reported by Nikkei Asia on September 13. The new facility is expected to double Hokkaido’s wind power output. According to the plan, Eurus Energy, a renewable energy arm of Toyota Tsusho, will generate 457 MW of power, while Japanese energy company Cosmo Eco Power and Tokyo-based energy startup Looop will generate 85 MW. Eurus Energy will also construct an 80-kilometer transmission line to send power to Hokkaido Electric Power [9509:JP]. Though the total cost of the wind power project has not been released, Toyota Tsusho expects that storage and transmission would cost roughly JPY100bn (USD700m). In addition to power generation, the new wind power complex will also develop lithium-ion storage batteries with a total capacity of 720 megawatt-hours (MWh).
Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, has a cold, windy environment and plenty of open lands, making it a desirable place to establish wind farms and energy storage facilities for many renewable energy providers. Earlier in 2019, Saudi energy business Abdul Latif Jameel Energy made its first foray into the Japanese energy industry, launching two 20-kilowatt (KW) micro wind turbines at Cape Erimo, Hokkaido’s southernmost point. The company intends to eventually build 20 turbines to generate 400 kW of electricity, which can power 400 homes and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 1,000 tons per year. Furthermore, Japan declared in 2018 that it will build high-capacity energy-storage systems in Hokkaido with a capacity of 720 MWh. The project is scheduled to begin operation in March 2023.