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World’s biggest cell to store renewable energy in Hokkaido

Kyodo

The government plans to install the world’s largest battery at an electrical substation in Hokkaido, where the use of solar power is rapidly spreading.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry expects the battery, which has a storage capacity of about 60,000 kwh, to be in place by the end of fiscal 2014. The project will use up a large chunk of ¥29.6 billion in reserve funds earmarked for battery projects in the fiscal 2012 budget, a METI official said Wednesday.

The battery is expected to help develop a stable electricity supply based on solar and wind power, which are reliant on weather conditions for performance.

The METI official said that while other countries have used storage batteries in power plants, Japan will be the first to put one in an electrical substation.

Solar facilities have been springing up in Hokkaido since incentives for investing in clean energy took effect last July. The region’s wide open spaces and low land prices have made it an attractive location for renewable energy.