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Wind Wire: People power

Japanese wind developer Community Wind Power, based in Sapporo, Hokkaido prefecture, is building a 20 MW wind farm at Wajima in Ishikawa prefecture, billed as Japan's first "People's Wind Farm."

Most of the required JPY 4.8 billion ($50.3 million) investment is expected to come from Nature's Power Fund Earth-Wind 2009, a fund for small-time investors and accepting sums as small as JPY 500,000 ($5245). It aims to raise JPY 3 billion ($31.5 million). The Wajima Monzen Community Wind Farm will use ten Repower 2 MW turbines from Germany and should be operational in March. Community Wind Power has so far developed 11 small wind farms in Japan, mostly in Hokkaido and Honshu island.

Japan Wind Development (JWD) is developing four more wind farms in Japan with a total capacity of 89.5 MW. A 20 MW project under development near the town of Esashi in Hokkaido prefecture is expected online next May; a 10 MW project near the town of Yura in Wakayama prefecture is to start operation in August 2011; and another 20 MW project near the town of Tainai in Niigata prefecture is to start in January 2012. The company also plans to develop a 40 MW site near Otaru City in Hokkaido. All projects are slated for use of 2 MW turbines, but no suppliers have been announced. JWD controls 206.5 MW of wind power capacity mainly in Japan, but including 8 MW in GermanyBy 2015 aspires to expand that to almost 1 GW, more than half of which is to be equipped with storage batteries.

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