Power utilities submitted a total of 77 applications to pre-register in a new power distribution system designed to encourage the introduction of renewable energy by making use of part of power grids during periods of light traffic. Applications, which had been accepted for a month starting on Jan. 13, represent 2.23 million kilowatts of energy, approximately the level of power generated by two nuclear reactors. The robust response to the invitation to the new system reflects the level of success of the initiative, which attempts to review the usage of power grids. This result will be reported to the Economic Ministry’s expert panel on Mar. 12.
The new access method, called “non-firm access,” allows utilities using solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources to use powerlines with excess capacity during normal hours of the day under the condition that the utilities restrict distribution when regular power companies need that extra line capacity during certain hours of the day. Non-firm access allows speeding up of the introduction of renewable energy without building extra power grids, which would incur a large cost. (Abridged)