Consumer Co-op to Form PPS, Build Mega Solar Plants

2014/07/01 17:32
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute

Seikatsu Club Consumers' Co-operative Union (Shinjyuku Ward, Tokyo) decided to establish a PPS (power producer and supplier) at its 25th ordinary general meeting June 23, 2014.

The PPS, "Seikatsu Club Energy," will be established in October 2014 in the aim of procuring renewable energy and supplying electric power to the union's shops and affiliated producers.

In fiscal 2014, the PPS will build two mega (large-scale) solar power plants on idled land owned by Seikatsu Club Tamago K K (Fukaya City, Saitama Prefecture), which produces chicken eggs and is affiliated with the union, as well as a wind power plant in collaboration with a citizens' group. It will sell electricity generated at the plants to Seikatsu Club Energy in the future..

The mega-solar plants are "Seikatsu Club Solar Tochigi Power Plant" (output: 1.6MW) and "Seikatsu Club Solar Gunma Power Plant" (output: 1.46MW). The former solar plant is scheduled to be completed in Nasushiobara City, Tochigi Prefecture, in November 2014. The latter solar plant is planned to be completed in Maebashi City, Tochigi Prefecture, in January 2015.

Also, the PPS plans to build a 4MW wind power plant in Ishikari City, Hokkaido, in cooperation with a citizens' group and start power generation at the plant in December 2014. The union has already started operation of a 770kW solar power plant at its physical distribution base in Hanno City, Saitama Prefecture, and will consider selling the electricity generated at the 770kW plant to the PPS.

To procure and sell electric power by using power transmission and distribution networks owned by general electric power suppliers as a PPS, Seikatsu Club Energy needs to make sure that the amount of power consumed for every 30 minutes becomes equal to the amount of power generated during the same period of time. The PPS plans to realize this adjustment by using a "balancing group scheme" in cooperation with other PPSes at first. But it will consider realizing it by itself in the future.

Furthermore, the PPS is making preparations so that it will be able to sell electricity to members of the union and purchase electricity generated by solar power generation facilities installed at their houses after the full liberalization of the retail electricity market scheduled in 2016.