Japanese trading company and wind developer, Tomen Corp, is studying the potential for construction of a large wind farm near Wakkanai city in the northern island of Hokkaido. Tomen is negotiating with Soya Chikusan Kaihatsu Kosha to rent part of a pasture on a hill to the north east of Wakkanai. The company stresses, however, that is has not set a construction deadline. Soya Chikusan is a so called third-sector company combining private money and investment from Wakkanai City. The size of the project is undecided as yet, but there is space for 60 MW, according to the authorities. If the project goes ahead, Tomen plans to sell the electricity to the local electric utility company Hokuden. Tomen has started on a wind resource survey of the area, but there are several issues to be resolved before construction can start, including concerns about interference with the radar at the Soya communication station of the local territorial army division. Tomen must also decide how to connect the wind farm to Hokuden's distant eletric power grid. Meantime, Tomen is already progressing with development of a 20 MW wind farm in Tomamae town in Hokkaido, to be supplied with 1 MW turbines from Bonus A/S of Denmark (Windpower Monthly, December 1998). According to the public New Energy Development Organisation (NEDO), there are eight wind power plants in operation in Hokkaido, with nine further either under construction or being planned with a total capacity of around 70 MW. If fully developed, Tomen's plans will almost double that capacity.
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