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Sojitz offers Wind power for Japan

Sojitz will offer wind-power generation equipment coupled with insurance to compensate for revenue drops from natural disasters and other incidents.

The Japanese trading company seeks to capture demand from businesses and municipalities looking to make money from the renewable-energy feed-in tariff system while curbing their risk of losses. The annual sales target will be 100 units. Insured wind power equipment is rare in the Japanese market.

Subsidiary Sojitz Pla-Net will import small wind turbines from Xzeres Wind, based in the U.S. state of Oregon. Sojitz has developed insurance plans with a major Japanese insurer covering not only incidents that slow power sales but also liability to compensate a third party, such as a local resident complaining about noise.

A project to install two 10kW wind turbines would cost 25 million yen to 30 million yen ($223,650 to $268,380). The feed-in tariff requires utilities to buy wind power of less than 20kW for 55 yen per kilowatt-hour from equipment operators for 20 years. This price would bring income of 3.5 million yen to 4 million yen annually, letting the operator recover its investment in about seven years.

Though solar power prices have declined significantly since the feed-in tariff was introduced in 2012, wind power prices have remained flat and will stay the same for fiscal 2016, which starts April 1. Thus, more businesses and municipalities are considering wind power generation.

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