The Matsunoyama Onsen geothermal plant in Niigata Pref, Japan

The Matsunoyama Onsen geothermal plant in Niigata  Pref, Japan Matsunoyama Onsen geothermal plant, Tokamachi, Niigata, Japan (source: GPSS)
Alexander Richter 14 Nov 2021

With commercial operation since January 2021, the Matsunoyama Onsen community geothermal plant provides renewable power in a touristic area tapping a local hot spring.

In an opening ceremony in December 2020, the Matsunoyama Onsen community geothermal power project was officially inaugurated, as reported by Japenese GPSS on its website last month.

It is operated by Matsunoyama Onsen GK The EARTH that is a joint company from Matsunoyama Onsen GK Manma and Geothermal Development & Investment Inc. of GPSS group. The plant has an installed power generation capacity of 210 kW and  is an Organic Rankin Cycle (ORC) plant.

At the opening ceremony, the Mayor of Tokamachi, Mr. Yoshifumi Sekiguchi, said “In Tokamachi City, we have set a goal of using renewable energy to cover 30% of the electricity consumed in our area after the Great East Japan Earthquake. This geothermal power generation is the first business that comes out from this goal. In one hand, the desire of the region to utilize the abundant resources of Matsunoyama Onsen; and in another hand, the proposal by Geothermal Development Co., Ltd. to deliver a project for “Use of resources that do not affect the supply of hot springs”, are a great combination of efforts from both sides. I would like to pay tribute to everyone involved for their longing efforts.”

Also, Mr. Kazunari Yanagi of Matsunoyama Onsen GK The EARTH said “There were many times when we had a lot of fierce and hot discussions up about this topic, however, we were able to welcome the opening of the power plant. As the GPSS group’s slogan is: Ignite your soul, not the Earth, I appreciate that all the members of the GPSS group burnt their souls and passion for Matsunoyama, same for everyone who was involved in this project. In the future, I would like to combine sustainable tourism and sustainable environment to further encourage local attractivity.”

Mr. Tomofumi Ono from Geothermal Development & Investment Inc. of the GPSS group explained the mechanism of ORC power generation used in the power plant. In addition, he talked that “We have a management philosophy of promoting geothermal development through joint business with local area and contributing to the local community. Three years ago, I remember when we visited the Matsunoyama Onsen wishing deeply to achieve a sustainable cycle with power generation utilizing their own resources. After many discussions with the Tokamachi City and the community of Matsunoyama Onsen, we were finally able to start operating the power plant. Even if we are at our start, we will make sure that this power plant will operate stably for the next 15 years.”

“The Matsunoyama Onsen?Community Power Generation” will be sold to Tohoku Electric Power as from January 15, 2021 using the FIT system, and after that, through Minnadenryoku Co., Ltd. will be supplied to electricity consumers nationwide, including Setagaya-ku that has friendly relations with Tokamachi City.

Source: GPSS

Further details in this drawing of the plant (pdf)