PV bottleneck raises fears of grid overcapacity in Hokkaido

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Officials from Hokkaido Electric Power in Japan are being forced to review applications made by large-scale PV developers due to fears these installations could exceed the grid’s capacity.

Utility Hokkaido Electric Power explained to applicants that projects over 2MW cannot be added to the grid, Satoshi Takada, a spokesman for the utility, said in an interview with Bloomberg.

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The attraction of Hokkaido is the availability and inexpensive cost of land in the region.

By the end of March, applications for grid connections totalled 1,568MW for plants of 2MW or larger, according to an April 17 statement from the utility, which said it had capacity for only 400MW.

As one response, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) announced in April plans to install the world’s largest battery at an electrical substation in the prefecture of Hokkaido with an expected storage capacity of around 60MWh, and to be set up by March 2015.

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