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Hokkaido Electric worries about winter

October 20,2012


Hokkaido Electric fears up to 10% power shortfall in winter



TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Hokkaido Electric Power Co. said Friday that demand for electricity may exceed supply by up to 10.4 percent in winter if unexpected problems occur at its major non-nuclear thermal power plant or other power generation facilities.

As the power transmission line connecting Honshu and Hokkaido has a limited capacity, the government will consider setting a goal asking people and companies in Hokkaido to cut power usage by around 5 to 10 percent compared with maximum demand in fiscal 2010, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Hokkaido Electric presented the power shortfall estimate during a government panel meeting looking into power supply and demand in winter, with most of Japan's nuclear reactors expected to remain offline amid strong public concern over their safety in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster last year.

The utility lost 960,000 kilowatts of power supply capacity in the previous fiscal year because of simultaneous problems in power generation equipment.

If such an incident recurs, the utility could face a maximum power shortfall of 10.4 percent this winter, and even if it receives power from Honshu, demand could still exceed supply by 0.4 percent.

Without supply problems, the utility estimates its supply capacity will exceed demand by 6.7 percent in January and 5.8 percent in February -- both above what is seen as the minimum required level of 3 percent.

As for the service areas of eight other Japanese utilities, the government may not have to set numerical power-saving goals. Okinawa Electric Power Co. is not subject to such power-saving efforts because it does not rely on nuclear power.


See also Hokaido Electric warns of shortages


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