Okinawa Electric Power can’t handle all green energy

Solar panel fields have popped up on many landscapes in Okinawa’s rural areas.

Photovoltaic generation planned on the main island of Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture is expected to reach the capacity of Okinawa Electric Power Co. as early as this month.

The industry ministry said this week that  thee local power company can accept up to some 57,000 kilowatts of electricity generated by solar power, the amount equivalent to power an estimated 19,000 households.  Beyond that, electricity supplies that exceed the acceptable level may cause problems, such as unstable power voltage. Output from solar power generation fluctuates sharply depending on weather conditions.
The Okinawa prefectural government and Okinawa Electric Power plan to install a large-scale storage cell that will help the utility cope with fluctuations in solar power output. The project may raise the company’s capacity by some 10%, according to the ministry.

A number of companies have made plans to build solar power facilities on the Okinawa since Japan required power utilities to purchase electricity generated with renewable sources starting in July 2012.  Okinawa Electric Power has so far received applications for purchasing about 50,000 kilowatts of electricity from solar power facilities.