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Japan's Largest Wind Turbines Begin Operation With Batteries in Hokkaido

Power transmitted to grid as planned by charging, discharging batteries

2019/07/20 18:52
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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Matsumaecho at the southernmost part of Hokkaido, Japan, faces the Sea of Japan to the west and Tsugaru Straits to the south, with towns and pastures spreading along the west-east coast for about 50km. Thanks to the Tsushima Current, the town enjoys the warmest and mildest climate of any town in Hokkaido and prospered as the castle-town of the Matsumae Domain.

With winds stably blowing at annual average speeds of 5 to 6m/s more than 30m off the ground, the town is also known as being suitable for wind farms, and multiple wind turbines have been operating in the town since around 2000.

As tall as 148m Sapporo TV Tower

In April 2019, the "ReENE Matsumae Wind Farm," Japan's largest-class wind farm with a total output of over 40MW, began operation in the town. A total of 12 wind turbines with a rated capacity of 3.4MW each rotate slowly thanks to the sea breeze. As of April 2019, the "3.4MW" was the largest capacity for a single unit among commercial wind turbines in operation across Japan. In addition, this is Hokkaido's first wind farm established with a storage battery system.

Matsumae Wind Farm GK, the power producer financed by Tokyu Land Corp and Japan Wind Development Co Ltd (Minato-ku, Tokyo), started commercial operation on April 3, 2019. The wind farm facilities' rated capacity totals 40.8MW, while the storage battery system's capacity reaches 18MW. Annual power generation is expected to amount to 105,900,000kWh, which is equivalent to the consumption of about 30,000 general households.

The wind farm facilities are produced by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA of Spain. The tower and the blade measure 94m in height and 54m in length, which results in a rotation diameter of 108m. When the blade comes up, the highest point reaches 148m, which is almost equivalent to the height of the TV tower in Odori Park, Sapporo City.

A sodium-sulfur (NAS) battery system of NGK Insulators Ltd and power conditioners (for the battery) of Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC) were adopted (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: "ReENE Matsumae Wind Farm" started operation in April 2019. (source: Tokyu Land)