The largest wind plant on the island of Shikoku, the smallest of Japan's four main home islands, began operating in March. Comprising 20 Mitsubishi 1 MW turbines, the ´490 million mountaintop Hayama plant is a joint venture between the Osaka Gas subsidiary Sojitz Corporation, which holds a 51% share, and Gas and Power Investment Company, which holds the remaining 49%. The electricity generated will be supplied to regional utility, Shikoku Electric Power Company. Sited 1000 metres above sea level, the plant is notable for being the first in Japan where turbine blades were brought in by helicopter -- and extra-deep foundations were created to safeguard against earthquakes.
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