Energy / Climate Change

February 2, 2014


Tokyo Waterworks Completes Mini Hydropower Facility Using Feed-in Tariff

Keywords: Local government Renewable Energy 

The Tokyo Metropolitan Waterworks Bureau in Japan announced on October 1, 2013, that it completed construction of a mini hydropower facility at the Kasai Pumping Station and started its operation on the same day. The facility counts as the first owned by Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) to sell all electricity it generates through Japan's renewable energy feed-in-tariff (FIT) scheme.

A FIT is a system that obliges electric utilities to buy electricity generated from renewable energy sources (solar, wind, hydro, etc.) for a certain period at a minimum price determined by the national government.

Although conventional hydroelectric power systems use water pressure created by a difference in elevation (or head) to generate power, this hydropower plant uses pressure created when water is directed from the water treatment plant to the distribution reservoir. Its maximum output is 340 kilowatts. The plant is expected to produce about 1.4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, which is enough to power about 420 ordinary Japanese households. TMG will sell the power not to a major existing power company but to a new power producer and supplier (PPS), Summit Energy Corp. The project is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 530 tons annually.

TMG hopes to promote renewable energy based on a cost-effectiveness approach and thus contribute to environmental impact reduction and a stable energy supply.