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'Non-firm Connection' Applied Even to Low-voltage Solar Projects in Japan

2019/10/31 11:47
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Labo
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Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) announced its plan to move forward with a "non-firm type" for grid connection of low-voltage commercial solar power plants with a grid capacity of less than 50kW in part of the North Kanto region of Japan at a meeting of the Grid Working Group (WG) of New and Renewable Energy Subcommittee Oct 8, 2019.

The non-firm-type connection is a mechanism with which a new power source is connected to a power grid on the premise that the output of power generation is controlled (reduced) when the grid is congested.

In the past, a power plant was usually connected to a power grid with "firm connection" (connection that does not require output control even when a grid is congested) in Japan after agreeing grid connection on the condition of payment of contribution in aid of construction and using the contribution for reinforcing grid facilities.

This time, the area where non-firm-type connection will be employed is the target of the Eastern North Kanto Application Process. In the process, the total capacity of applications was much lower than the amount offered for high-voltage and extra-high-voltage projects. So, the process was temporarily extended, and the connection of high-voltage and extra-high-voltage plants will be carried out as non-firm connection.