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Broader Introduction of Renewable Energy Sources

Introduction of Renewable Energy

HEPCO Group is committed to expanding renewable energy to be principal power source for the next generation.

[Composition of HEPCO's electricity sales]

Composition of HEPCO's electricity sales

Status of adoption of renewable energy in Hokkaido

As of March 31 2020, the amount of renewable energy interconnected with systems in Hokkaido was 4,340,000kW, of which hydropower accounted for 1,650,000 kW, wind 480,000 kW, solar 1,880,000 kW, biomass 300,000kW, and geothermal 30,000 kW.

[Amount of wind and solar power interconnected with systems in Hokkaido]

Amount of wind and solar power interconnected with systems in Hokkaido

Initiatives Furthering Adoption of Renewable Energies


HEPCO has been advancing initiatives for hydroelectric power generation, biomass power generation and other renewable energies that are locally oriented, have little output fluctuation, and little impact on the electric power network.

We are proceeding to verify technologies for maintaining the quality of electric power generated through hydroelectric and photovoltaic systems, and will work to further expand the adoption of these technologies.

  • Developing and Increasing Output of Hydroelectric Power Stations

Of the renewable energies, hydroelectric power generation has the capability to generate electricity with less fluctuation than solar or wind power, and is a highly reliable source as hydroelectric power generation technology has been built up over many years.

HEPCO is moving forward to construct new small and medium-sized hydroelectric power stations (output: 30,000 kW and below) and rebuild aging facilities that make use of water resources which have not been previously utilized for power generation. When upgrading water turbines which are a key piece of equipment in existing power stations, we are seeking to replace these with higher efficiency models to increase maximum output (kW).

[Actual and Planned Development of Small and Medium-Sized Hydroelectric Power Stations]

Power station Date placed into operation Output prior (kW) Output after (kW) Output increase (kW)
Shumarinai March 2013 - 1,120 -
Takinoue-Shibazakura* December 2013 112 260 148
Yukomanbetsu June 2014 - 710 -
Shin Iwamatsu January 2016 12,600 16,000 3,400
Kyogoku-Meisui-no-Sato* October 2016 - 410 -
Toya* June 2018 5,500 6,400 900
Sanru* April 2019 - 1,100 -
Shintoku June 2022 (Scheduled) 20,000 23,100 3,100

*Facility owned by HOKUDEN ECO-ENERGY, a HEPCO Group company.

[Actual and Planned Water Turbine Upgrades to Increase Output]

Power station Date placed into operation Output prior (kW) Output after (kW) Output increase (kW)
Sounkyo February 2011 23,800 25,400 1,600
Hoheikyo June 2011 50,000 51,900 1,900
Makunbetsu February 2012 16,400 18,000 1,600
Hirafu July 2012 11,000 12,000 1,000
Tomura March 2015 40,000 41,300 1,300
Shunbetsu March 2016 27,000 28,500 1,500
Shizunai September 2017 46,000 46,700 700
Higashi-no-Sawa April 2018 20,000 21,000 1,000
Kamiakubetsu* April 2021 (Scheduled) 4,150 4,650 500
Abuta* April 2023 (Scheduled) 19,500 20,790 1,290

*Facility owned by HOKUDEN ECO-ENERGY, a HEPCO Group company.

[Actual Output Increases Verified by Performance Testing]

Power station Date placed into operation Output prior (kW) Output after (kW) Output increase (kW)
Toyoura* March 2013 3,400 3,500 100
Aibetsu October 2015 5,500 5,600 100
Shibinai October 2015 1,300 1,600 300
Toyama January 2016 10,000 10,200 200
Iwachishi April 2016 13,500 14,300 800
Okusaru April 2018 15,000 15,800 800

*Facility owned by HOKUDEN ECO-ENERGY, a HEPCO Group company.

  • Biomass Power Generation Project Participation and Research & Development

HEPCO is participating in a biomass power generation project utilizing the region's forestry resources. Hokkaido Biomass Energy Co., Ltd., in which HEPCO has a stake, has started construction of a new power generation facility in Tobetsu town.

In addition, HEPCO has joined a fund whose investment structure is based on the concept of "local consumption of locally-produced energy and locally-procured financing" (investing in solar power generation facilities in Iwamizawa and Kushiro cities).

[HEPCO Network]

  • Activities aimed at expansion of renewable energy
  • Greater accuracy in forecasting renewable energy power generation

    To reliably and efficiently manage demand and supply, the Renewable Energy Forecast System was introduced inFY2017 which forecasts solar and wind power generation.
    In FY2018, a new forecasting method was developed that takes into account snow buildup on solar panels. We have been confirming its effectiveness and otherwise fine-tuning the system by verifying the forecasting technology through actual use and then making improvements.

  • Demonstration test with TEPCO Power Grid for introducing more wind power generation

    One initiative toward our goal of expanding wind power generation is the demonstration test that we are conducting with TEPCO Power Grid using current interregional transmission lines (launched in January 2018).
    This demonstration test makes use of TEPCO's adjustment capacity across inter-regional transmission lines. For this test, we solicited approximately 200,000 kW of wind power in December 2011. (In February 2017, we solicited an additional 63,500 kW, a shortfall that occurred due to withdrawals and other departures.)

  • Large-scale storage battery system demonstration project

    Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. applied for and was selected to conduct the "FY2013 Large-Scale Storage Battery System Demonstration Project" implemented by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry for the purpose of demonstrating the capacity to adjust to fluctuations in output from renewable energy power sources and develop optimal control technology.
    At the Minami Hayakita Substation (Abira town, Yufutsu district), a large capacity redox flow battery (rated output: 15MW; storage capacity: 60 MWh [15 MW*4 hours]) has been installed. Control technology was also developed, battery performance evaluated, and other technology verified. In January 2019, the demonstration test was completed. The knowledge gained from this assessment has been made use of in reviewing wind power offerings that utilize system storage batteries.

  • Wind power offerings utilizing system storage batteries

    We have endeavored to solicit wind power offerings of 1 million kW (Phase I: 600,000 kW; Phase II: 400,000 kW) intended to jointly defray the costs associated with the system storage batteries.
    In Phase I, the amount of wind power generation was increased to 600,000 kW, which is the scale estimated to provide technical reliability, and offerings were solicited from applicants wishing to have priority grid connections. Ultimately, 15 applications from operators, expressing their intention for power system interconnection, amounting to 162,000 kW were received and 17,000 kW-3h (51,000 kWh) ofsystem storage batteries installed.
    We are currently carrying out the procedures and other formalities to commence storage battery operation for Phase I in FY2023. Performance over the period of one year after Phase I is launched will be taken into account in the evaluation and verification process with the aim of soliciting applications for Phase II.

  • Power grid development demonstration project for wind power generation

    As part of our efforts to increase renewable energies, we have invested and provided technical assistance to North Hokkaido Wind Energy Transmission Corporation, a special-purpose company chosen for this project.
    The project began with the selection of powerline routes and other research on the development potential. Viability evaluations were taken into account and a decision already made to go ahead with commercialization (powerline development and operation).
    The project has carried out construction work and other preparations with the aim of starting operation of a transmission and conversion facility in FY2023.

  • Participation in NEDO demonstration project related to "Japan Connect & Manage"

    After an application was filed as part of a consortium led by TEPCO Power Grid for a demonstration project, which was solicited by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), seeking to increase the adoption of renewable energies, it was announced that the consortium had been accepted on June 23, 2020.
    Through participation in this project, we will be able to further our knowledge of the application of non-firm connections, which will make it possible to introduce renewables even in the Hokkaido area in the future, so that we can achieve such grid management.

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