Japan to Install Battery in Hokkaido to Ease Solar Pressure

Japan plans to set up a large-size storage battery to stabilize the flow of solar power on the northern island of Hokkaido where inexpensive land is attracting projects to tap the renewable source of energy.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will allocate about 20 billion yen ($204 million) to install the system at a substation with 60 megawatt hour of storage capacity, Hiroaki Niihara, an official in charge of energy conservation and renewable energy, said at a news conference today in Tokyo.

The battery, to be installed by March 2015, is among the three plans the ministry announced today to respond to the high concentration of solar projects in Hokkaido. The island’s power grids are nearing their limit to handle the influx of clean energy, according to a ministry statement today.

Japan began an incentive program for clean energy in July to diversify its energy mix. The country added 1,394 megawatts of clean energy, including 1,329 megawatts of solar, between April last year and the end of January, the ministry announced yesterday.

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