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Baseload Capital/ Climeon commission their first geothermal plant in Japan

Climeon team on site at plant site in Kyushu, Japan (source: Climeon)
Alexander Richter 24 Apr 2020

Baseload Capital and technology supplier Climeon have successfully commissioned a geothermal heat power plant in Kyushu, Japan. The plant utilises low heat geothermal resources to generate electricity securing high feed-in-tariffs set under renewable energy legislation in Japan.

In announcements today, Swedish technology company Climeon and Baseload Capital both announced that the first heat power module of Climeon has been successfully commissioned and is now producing electricity in Japan as of today (April 24, 2020). The plant will be formally inaugurated at a virtual community celebration in June.

The project was driven by Baseload Power (a wholly owned subsidiary of Baseload Capital, partly owned by Climeon) was founded in October 2018. The company quickly assembled a team of talented people, identified ideal project locations, and built relationships with important local partners. As of April 24, we are in commercial operation.

In 2018, Climeon won its first order in Japan. Since then, the company has established a subsidiary in the country, begun the installation of two power plants, and now also put the first Heat Power module into operation.

“This is an incredibly important milestone for Climeon. Japan is one of the toughest geographical markets to enter. I am incredibly proud that we, together with Baseload Power Japan, managed to get a power plant up and running this fast, compared to how long it typically takes in Japan,” says Thomas Öström, CEO of Climeon. 

“We are now contributing to the energy transition in Japan for real. Every kilowatt hour produced to the grid contributes to transforming the Japanese energy system,” says Jack (Masao) Watanabe, President of Climeon Japan K.K.

The first installation is located in Kyushu, where Climeon’s Heat Power module is connected to an existing power plant and recovers the geothermal waste heat.

– The fact that the first power plant now produces electricity is an important key to our continued rollout. Now we have proven to local partners and to our investors that Climeon and Baseload can produce fossil-free electricity in Japan, Masahiro Ito, Representative Director of Baseload Power Japan K.K.

Japan is a highly prioritized geographical market for Climeon, due to the country’s favorable conditions for geothermal electricity production. After the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011, Japan’s domestic energy production has decreased significantly, which is why the majority of all primary energy is imported and most of it is fossil. There are many hot springs around the country, from which geothermal heat power can be extracted. Today, only just over 2 percent of its known geothermal energy resources are utilized. The tariff for geothermal heat power in Japan today is just over USD 0.30/ kWh, which is about eight times higher than the electricity price in Sweden and one – if not the – highest in the world.

“The ability to harness heat power will help Japan transition to a green baseload more quickly,” said Masahiro Ito, Representative Director of Baseload Power Japan K.K. “It is proof that we can create energy without contributing to global warming, and it puts our nation on the path to energy independence.”

In each local market, Baseload Capital creates a subsidiary to coordinate project development in collaboration with communities and their local power companies. In Kyushu our Japanese subsidiary, Baseload Power Japan, has worked with the existing power plant owner Waita, to commission the Climeon Heat Power module that converts the plant’s geothermal waste heat into electricity.

 “It is almost unprecedented to bring a power plant from idea to completion in 18 months, regardless of power source,” said Baseload Capital CEO Alexander Helling. “If we can accomplish this in Japan, which is known as one of the toughest markets in the world to enter, there’s no reason we can’t replicate it elsewhere.”

This is an incredibly important milestone for Climeon,” said Thomas Öström, CEO of Climeon. “Together with our partners at Baseload Capital, we are now contributing to the energy transition in Japan by turning hot water into clean electricity”

Source: Climeon & Baseload Capital