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Kyushu Electric to seek curb on solar power generation

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Kyushu Electric Power Co. has expressed its intention to call for a temporary suspension of electricity generation from renewable energy sources, particularly solar power, to prevent power oversupply.

Kyushu Electric will be the first regional power supplier to request renewable electricity producers to reduce output on a broad basis in Japan.

The company fears that a sharp deterioration in the power supply-demand balance will cause an extensive blackout like the one that happened in Hokkaido last month in the wake of a powerful earthquake.

Electricity supplies could stop in both cases of substantial short supply and oversupply.

At a meeting with industry ministry officials on Wednesday, a senior Kyushu Electric official showed the view that a curb on renewable power generation will become necessary later this month or so.

The power utility, which serves the Kyushu region, is likely to ask renewable power suppliers in the region, excluding those with an output capacity of less than 10 kilowatts each, to curb generation by hundreds of thousands of kilowatts at a time, informed sources said.

The company plans to request such output reduction on public holidays in autumn and spring, when electricity demand for air conditioning usually goes down, they added.

Japan adopted the feed-in tariff system in 2012 to promote the use of solar power and other renewable energy sources.

Thanks to good insolation conditions, solar power generation spread in Kyushu, having met over 80 percent of the total demand there, according to Kyushu Electric.

Major power utilities in the country usually cut output at their thermal plants when transmission of electricity from solar power plants is becoming excessive.

On Oct. 1, Kyushu Electric, for the first time ever, carried out the output curb and provided excess electricity to other regional suppliers including Kansai Electric Power Co.

Kyushu Electric is seeking cooperation from local renewable power producers in maintaining the supply-demand balance.Speech

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