Utility: enough summer power


Tokyo Electric Power Co. may manage to avoid an anticipated electricity shortage this summer as it will aim to increase its maximum power supply capacity to around 55 million kw from the previously planned 52 million kw, Executive Vice President Takashi Fujimoto said Wednesday.

In addition to restoring capacity at some thermal power plants damaged by the March 11 disaster, the utility plans to make up for part of the capacity lost at the crisis-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant by making greater use of pump-storage hydroelectric plants, buying power from other companies and restarting idled facilities, Fujimoto said in an interview.

“We want to avoid (implementing) rolling blackouts in summer,” Fujimoto said.

The utility also plans to purchase electricity generated by companies other than electric power utilities and speed up restoration of a quake-damaged thermal plant in the town of Hirono, Fukushima Prefecture.

In addition, it expects gas turbine-based power production to generate 100,000 kw, according to Fujimoto.

Tepco is projecting this summer’s maximum demand for electricity at 55 million kw, but the increase in capacity, along with power-saving efforts by corporations and households, may still not be enough to meet peak demand, which exceeded 60 million kw during last year’s record heat wave.

The government is considering ordering large corporate users to curb their power consumption by 25 percent from peak demand last summer.