Japanese utility Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) has won a state subsidy to move forward its project to produce hydrogen using solar power generation in Kofu city, Yamanashi prefecture.
Tepco and other six firms including petrochemical producer Toray, shipbuilder Hitachi Zosen, German engineering firm Siemens, compression device engineering Kaji Technology, boiler engineering Miura Industries and battery engineering Nichikon were jointly awarded an undisclosed subsidy by state-controlled research and development institute Nedo to support hydrogen production using power generation from a 10MW Komekurayama solar power plant, which operator Tepco started commercial operation in 2012.
Nedo disbursed ¥70bn ($636bn) of subsidies to two projects, although it did not disclose how much this project received.
The seven companies and Yamanashi prefecture in June started test operations of the hydrogen production facility with a production capacity of 300 Nm³/hr. The facility is consuming power from power grid but will shift to solar power generation in this project, Tepco said. The project will start this year with an end-March 2026 completion date. The produced hydrogen will be used for power generation at factories and supermarkets in Yamanashi.
Interest in domestic hydrogen production and utilisation has been increasing since Japan set a target to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Tepco and Chubu Electric Power’s thermal joint venture Jera also won a subsidy separately to support the practical use of hydrogen at gas-fired power plants. Jera aims to blend 30pc of hydrogen at its existing gas-fired power plant by the end of March 2026.