Toshiba, Sojitz Picked for Clean Energy in Japan Quake Areas

Toshiba Corp. will conduct a solar-power feasibility study with Taisei Corp. and Sojitz Corp. as part of Japan’s efforts to promote renewable energy in areas hit by last March’s record earthquake and tsunami.

The Japanese companies won an order from the Environment Ministry to conduct research on whether Minamisoma city in Fukushima is suitable for 20 megawatts of solar-power generation, Tokyo-based Toshiba said today in a joint statement. Minamisoma is 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant devastated in the disaster.

The ministry announced eight feasibility study projects including Toshiba’s program. Of them, three were for solar power, one geothermal and the rest for wind.

Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting Co. will conduct a separate solar study in Kesennuma city, Miyagi prefecture, according to the ministry.

“As part of reconstruction efforts for the disaster-hit areas, it is important to introduce renewable energy there in a speedy manner,” the ministry said in a separate statement.

The total budget for the studies is 400 million yen ($5 million), Yasuhiro Muroishi, an official of the ministry’s climate-change policy unit, said by phone.

Toshiba and the two other companies will put together the results of the study by March 30, according to the statement.

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