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Eco- and Energy- Related
By maximizing use of wind, one of earth’s natural treasures, we will continue to protect the environment and our standard of living.
To protect the global environment and sustain a high standard of living... Securing sources for clean energy supply is a key factor that must be achieved for the
We are directing our efforts toward wind power generation projects that utilize nature hand-in-hand with daily life.
Electricity and other forms of energy are necessary to the functioning of modern society-to run our lights, to heat and cool our buildings, to operate computers and telecommunications equipment, to propel our cars…. However, the fossil fuels that have served as our main source of energy place too great a burden on the global environment.
Reducing carbon dioxide emissions and achieving a low-carbon society is now a global concern and will require clean energy sources. Hitachi Capital realized this need early on and has been providing comprehensive support for its customers’ environmental and energy enterprises, from facilities and technologies to financing.
With a focus on asset utilization for a future closed-loop recycling society, Hitachi Capital has purchased and sold used equipment and older and idle facilities. From 2000, we also entered the environmental and renewable energy sectors. In addition to providing energy solutions that pair Hitachi Capital’s expertise with Hitachi, Ltd.’s power generating systems, we are also active in the market as a power generator, having built a track record in plant management, offtake agreements and financing.
Hitachi Capital is involved in more than today’s broadly deployed solar power generation market. In January 2014, we established Hitachi Wind Power jointly with Hitachi, Ltd. in anticipation of a growing wind power market in Japan. Hitachi Wind Power deals in all aspects of the wind power generation business, from planning and construction through to operation. Here, one of the overseeing employees at Hitachi Wind Power introduces its work in this area.
Hitachi Wind Power Ltd.
My employer, Hitachi Wind Power, operates wind farms in Japan, specifically, three locations: the Nakajo Wind Power Plant (Tainai City, Niigata Prefecture), the Akita Tenbinno Wind Power Plant (Akita City, Akita Prefecture) and, finally, the Kashima Port Fukashiba Wind Power Plant (Kamisu City, Ibaraki Prefecture), which has an offshore generation system. (Current as of December 2017)
Our plants also serve as a performance testing ground for wind power systems in addition to generating electricity. The accumulated data and know-how is useful for our joint projects with other companies. For example, in March 2017, we established the Ene Seed Kitakyushu Wind Power Plant jointly with Kyushu-based Saibu Gas Group.
Saibu Gas Group is aiming to become a total energy service company across the board, and is actively promoting natural gas and renewable energy. Although Saibu Gas had already expanded into the solar power generation business, it decided to enter the wind power business to diversify the renewable energy field. Since it was their first foray into wind power, they approached us to be a partner due to our experience and know-how in the field.
In September 2015, Hitachi Wind Power and the Saibu Gas group company Ene Seed Co., Ltd. established the joint venture Ene Seed Wind Co., Ltd. to begin the project. In providing support for this joint project, we installed two of Hitachi, Ltd.’s 2MV downwind HTW2.0-86 turbines, which are suitable for low average wind speed regions. Hitachi, Ltd. also designed, constructed and maintains the wind power generation system.
Our mission at Hitachi Wind Power is to utilize Saibu Gas’s business base in Kyushu to create a stabilized wind power business. Wind power plant projects involve many companies. In order to coordinate and smoothly advance the project, we needed to understand the thinking of both Saibu Gas on the power generating side and Hitachi, Ltd. on the manufacturer side. Since Hitachi Capital has been in the power generation business and working in partnership with Hitachi, Ltd. for 60 years, it allows us to have a mindset that understands both the business side and the manufacturing side. I think this project has made good use of our strengths.
Even coordinating with Saibu Gas and Hitachi, Ltd., implementing the project was not easy. Starting from scratch, we only had one-and-a-half years from the project kickoff to the first day of operations. This timeframe was tight, and allowed for no delays.
Our ultimate goal is to build the best power plant within the provided timeframe. To that end, we needed to draw out the maximum potential from both Saibu Gas and Hitachi, Ltd. In meetings, for example, Hitachi Wind Power would negotiate while weaving in our own expertise and harmonizing the different perspectives that a manufacturer and a power generator bring to the table.
We visited the Saibu Gas offices many times, with some discussions stretching for hours, and the feedback steadily increased. The expertise on all sides coalesced at a high level and created dynamism from moving in the same direction. Through this process, we were able to reaffirm the advantages conferred by the three companies working together as one team.
The project was completed on schedule, and I felt both relief and a sense of accomplishment as the two turbines rose up more than 100 meters in front of us. But completing the project was just a starting point. Generating a steady supply of electricity over a 20-year period requires sustainable corporate management to ensure reliable quality. I was reminded of the magnitude of the responsibility of supplying electricity equivalent to the annual electrical consumption of 2,500 households.
Wind power in Japan will continue to grow in popularity. Aiming to provide stable and efficient power generation into the future, we collect data from our existing wind power plants and work closely with survey companies and external experts to improve the accuracy of our risk analyses. The know-how gained in this process provides a base for expanding our wind power generation business in new ways.
We are moving away from a past in which energy resources had to be imported and there was no choice but to accept the environmental burdens of fossil fuel use, to an era in which we create energy from the familiar and inexhaustible natural resource of wind. The joy of being part of this historical change serves as the source of our drive and inspiration. For our children and grandchildren to live comfortably and reassuringly, we will work to our full abilities to expand the use of wind power.