Japan’s Tepco proposes to build 1-megawatt plant in Catanduanes

by Manly UgaldeJuly 25, 2016

from Business Mirror

VIRAC, Catanduanes—The largest power supplier in Japan has proposed to build a 1-megawatt (MW) power plant in this remote and brownout-prone province of 11 towns using solar-diesel mix.

First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative services this province’s power needs, a portion of which is sourced from two hydropower plant owned by Sunwest Group of Companies.

The proposed power plant shall be installed at the province’s capital town of Virac, Mayor Samuel Laynes said, following his recent meeting here with the representatives of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco). The Tepco representatives were accompanied by officials from the National Electrification Administration (NEA).

Tepco is the power firm that built the nuclear plant in Fukushima  that suffered a meltdown following the earthquake and tsunami disaster that hit Japan in 2011.

During the briefing on July 5 with Tepco, NEA officials and the Virac town executives, Catanduanes was chosen by the Japanese government to be among the recommended five islands as a site of the microgrid system project.

Tepco was represented by Itchiro Sumitani, manager of Tepco distribution department, and Keisuki Yanaguichi, deputy general manager of the Smart Grid Business promotion department of Tepco subsidiary Takaoka Toko Co. Ltd.

The other prospective sites recommended by NEA were in Tablas, Romblon, Busuanga, Northern Palawan and Mindoro.

The Tepco proposal submitted to the Virac town official would be a 1-megawatt capacity of the solar- power plant to be installed by the Japanese power firm, funding source of which is through a grant-in-aid program of the Japanese International Cooperating Agency. Laynes said the only requirement from the municipal government is at least a hectare of open land where the project would be installed.

Virac has considered a portion of the vast land procured by the past administration from the National Housing Authority.

In the proposal, NEA and Takaoka Toko engineers will conduct the preliminary site study and technical discussion before drafting the application for financing by the Japanese government.

It is expected that the project would alleviate the reliability of the province’s power grid with the introduction of the smart grid technology being utilized by Tepco in Niijima island in Japan.

It was learned the Department of Energy and NEA would facilitate the grant agreement between the Philippines and Japan with the Tepco group to implement the project.

The Tepco representatives explained that in its microgrid demonstration project in Niijima, Tepco used a mix of diesel generators, solar panels and wind-power installations working in various combinations to optimize the usage of renewable energy (RE) source using containerized 1-MW lithium-ion battery system.

A published report said the battery operates in combination with Takaoka Toko’s intelligent control system that enable large amounts of wind and other RE-based power to be integrated into diesel-powered grids, ensuring system stability and smooth control of the gensets.