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Minamisoma City in Fukushima Prefecture suffered tsunami damage during the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011. Consolidating its plans for reconstruction into the gMinamisoma City Renewable Energy Visionh, the city worked on an integrated basis with city government, citizens and business operators and set the target of generating electricity to match the cityfs power consumption by the year 2030. As a part of this effort, the Manyo-no-Sato Wind Power Plant (2.35MW x 4 wind turbines) was planned for the coastal area that was devastated by the tsunami.
There are not a few local governments and businesses looking to introduce renewable energies such as wind power generation with the aim of creating new industry and advancing the local production and local consumption of energy. However, there are many complex and difficult challenges for new entrants from formulating a business plan that would ensure profitability to funds procurement, site selection, construction work and long-term operation and maintenance of the power generation facility.
As it already had a manufacturing base there, the Hitachi Group had existing ties with Minamisoma City, and it supported the cityfs vision. Accordingly, Hitachi jointly established the project implementing entity, Minamisoma Sustainergy Limited, together with local companies. Hitachi was responsible for a range of areas from support for project planning, through environmental assessment, design, procurement of materials and equipment and construction work. The company has also been providing consistent support for operation and maintenance since the plant entered operation in March 2018.
In the construction of the Manyo-no-Sato Wind Power Plant, the Hitachi Group provided solutions that utilize its distinctive qualities. For example, Hitachi Power Solutions, a member of Hitachifs Energy Sector, possesses the technologies and expertise cultivated in engineering, operational control and maintenance services for projects including wind power generation, solar power generation and storage battery systems. Leveraging these technologies and know-how, the company was responsible for candidate site selection, assessing wind conditions, plant design, procurement of materials and equipment and construction work. It has also been providing total support including operational assistance and maintenance since the plant entered operation in March 2018.
As wind power generation changes in complex ways due to factors including season, weather and geography, the amount of power generated can vary significantly. Given this, the status of the facilities is checked 24 hours a day through Hitachifs remote monitoring and control system, in an effort to improve the amount of power generated by supporting optimal operation based on wind speed, wind conditions and so on. Predicted annual generating capacity of the Manyo-no-Sato Wind Power Plant is equivalent to the power needs of roughly 4,500 homes, and is expected to curtail CO2 emissions by around 10,000 tons a year. The generated power will be sold to electricity utilities for 20 years. The plan has also been adopted as an applicable business of the Fukushima Prefecture Renewable Energy Recovery Support Project, and through the Fukushima Prefecture Renewable Energy Recovery Promotion Council, part of the proceeds from the sale of electricity will be used for regional contribution activities including tree planting.
Looking ahead, Hitachi will use Lumada, its solution for accelerating digital innovation, to incorporate predictive diagnosis at the Manyo-no-Sato Wind Power Plant to reduce downtime due to faults and enable appropriate parts replacement. At the same time, by integrating and making adjustments with wind power plants and solar power plants in the surrounding area, Hitachi works to achieve the more stable supply of electric power. Fukushima Prefecture is also moving forward with the construction of a 50MW-class wind power plant consisting of 14 wind turbines on the border of Minamisoma City and Iitate Village. Hitachi is also a part of this plan and providing wind power solutions. Towards ensuring that all people have access to sustainable, modern energy as declared in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, Hitachi will place an even greater focus on solutions that expand the adoption of renewable energies.