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Sumitomo Forestry plans 2 MW geothermal plant in Japan

Kurikoma National Park, Akita Prefecture, Japan (source: flickr/ katsuuu 44, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 25 May 2016

Japanese timber and biomass firm Sumitomo Forestry is planning the development of a 2 MW geothermal plant on forestland the company owns in Japan.

As reported today from Japan, Sumitomo Forestry plans to add wind and geothermal power to its renewable energy portfolio and expand its biomass business over the next three years, bringing around five new plants online in Japan and abroad.

Sumitomo Forestry is a forest manager and lumber producer that is now planning to invest around 20 billion yen ($181 million) — more than 10% of planned investment — into growing renewables operations in that time.

It is investing into Renova, a Japanese environmental technology startup working in biomass and solar power plant development. The company already works in the biomass power business, utilising its existing forestry work.

Over the next three years, Sumitomo Forestry plans to break ground on one or two wind power plants, and aims to bring a geothermal plant into commercial operation. Sites under consideration for these facilities include portions of the roughly 46,000 hectares of forestland the company owns across Japan.

The geothermal plant is seen with a capacity of around 2,000kW and a cost of several billion yen. Power will be sold under Japan’s feed-in tariff system, wherein utilities buy electricity produced by alternative means at government-mandated prices.

 

Solar power has come to dominate Japan’s renewable energy sector. But a falling mandated purchase price for electricity from that source has led to a decline in applications to build such facilities, and a shift in focus to anticipated growth fields such as wind and geothermal power.

Source: Nikkei