Business

Fearing blackouts, Kyushu Electric asks solar power generators to suspend generation

JIJI, Kyodo

Kyushu Electric Power Co. on Saturday asked solar power operators in its service area to suspend the generation of electricity to prevent oversupply and potential large-scale blackouts.

It’s the first request of its kind in Japan in an area other than remote islands.

Solar power was projected to surge during sunny weather in Kyushu on Saturday and electricity use was expected to fall sharply amid receding demand for air conditioning and reduced operations at factories over the weekend.

A disruption in the supply-demand balance could result in massive blackouts.

A prefecture-wide power outage hit Hokkaido last month after Hokkaido Electric Power Co. lost a key power plant during a major quake, sending supply falling sharply below demand.

Total power demand at 1 p.m. on Saturday was estimated to be 12.5 million kilowatts, but supply was expected to total 12.93 million kilowatts if solar power generation wasn’t suspended.

To deal with the 430,000-kW surplus, Kyushu Electric on Friday asked solar power operators to suspend electricity generation.

At a news conference in the city of Fukuoka, where Kyushu Electric is based, company official Hiroshi Wani said, “We are taking all possible measures to keep the supply-demand balance, such as curbing thermal power generation.”

Wani left open the possibility of asking solar power operators to suspend generation in the spring, autumn and during the New Year holiday period, as well as on consecutive holidays, while trying to maintain fairness.

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