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Solar plant for Iitate

June 21, 2013


Mega Solar' power plant to be built in Fukushima



The mayor of Iitate Village in Fukushima Prefecture says a large solar power plant will be built in the village that was seriously contaminated by the 2011 nuclear accident.

Located northwest of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Iitate Village has been designated as an exclusion zone due to high radiation levels from the nuclear facility.

All residents were evacuated from the village following the 2011 nuclear disaster. Former residents are allowed to visit their homes but not stay overnight.

Iitate Mayor Norio Kanno told reporters on Friday that the village and a Tokyo-based electric equipment company will jointly build a "Mega Solar" power station at a now-defunct ranch in the village. The 14-hectar lot of land is owned by the village.

Kanno said that the power station will produce 10,000 kilowatts, enough to supply the requirements of about 3,000 households for a year.

All electricity generated by the plant will be sold to a power company taking advantage of the central government scheme that requires major utilities to buy locally-generated renewable energy.

The mayor said that the village expects to make a profit of about 7 million dollars for a period of 20 years. He said that the revenue will be used to support recovery work in the village.

Kanno said that the local government compiled the plan in the hope that the solar plant will be a symbol for the reconstruction of Iitate, and encourage former residents to return.

The local government plans to spend about 40 million dollars to build the large solar power plant.

The mayor said construction will begin in April 2014 after design and decontamination work are completed. The solar power plant is expected to start generating electricity in April 2016.

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