Shizen Energy begins preparations for Environmental Impact Assessment of solar power plant project in Ofunato City, Iwate
Shizen Energy Inc. (Shizen Energy) has begun preparations to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) based on the Iwate Prefecture Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance for its Ofunato No. 1 and No. 2 Solar Power Plant projects in Ofunato City, Iwate Prefecture. The EIA will be conducted by Iwate Sanriku Solar Power LLC, a subsidiary of Shizen Energy.
EIA will be conducted to ensure third-party science-based assessment and transparent communication
Shizen Energy has consulted with various experts from the viewpoint of environmental preservation since the early planning stages, and has conducted various independent surveys of the project site and surrounding areas with the cooperation of specialized research organizations. In order to minimize the environmental impact on the project site and the lower reaches of the Yoshihama River, Shizen Energy has reflected the survey results in its planning, such as minimizing land development.
Since last year, Shizen Energy has had a series of discussions with Iwate Prefecture regarding whether or not this project is subject to Type 2 projects under the Enforcement Regulations of the Iwate Prefecture Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance, and whether or not this is necessary. Shizen Energy has also held discussions with the prefecture on measures and communication methods to reassure local residents about the impact of the project on landslides, river water quantity and quality, and also the effects it may have on fisheries, rare plants and animals.
Shizen Energy believes that conducting an environmental assessment will not only enable the company to understand the various possible risks and consider measures to reduce environmental impact based on a scientifically based assessment by a third-party organization, but also to communicate transparently with the local residents. Based on this, Shizen Energy has decided to conduct the environmental assessment without waiting for the prefectural government’s decision of whether or not an environmental assessment is necessary, because the company believes that it is in the best interest of local residents, Ofunato City, and Shizen Energy to conduct the EIA in order to develop a better project plan.
Background of this project
- In 2013, Ofunato citizens asked Shizen Energy if it could make effective use of a large area of unused city-owned land in the Yoshihama district of Sanrikucho, including pastureland that could no longer be used for livestock farming, and project development began to be considered.
- March 2014: Obtained business plan certification for the renewable energy power generation project plan at Mt. Aragane by METI.
- November 2015: First briefing on the project plan was held for representatives of local residents (as of July 2023, a total of 24 briefings for local residents, both large and small, have been held).
- March 2020: Based on the opinions of local residents and the results of an independent survey, the plan was changed from the original project site, Aragane, to consolidate the solar panels at the former Mt. Okubo Ranch site.
- July 2021: Planning was changed to further reduce environmental impact.
- April 2022: Obtained approval from METI for a change in the lot number of the former Mt. Okubo Ranch site after the subdivision.
Significance of this project
- Contribute to the decarbonization of Ofunato City and the planet as a whole
- Increase Iwate Prefecture’s energy self-sufficiency
- Contribute to Iwate Prefecture’s goal of “virtually zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050”
- Contribution to the city’s finances through rent and property taxes on the land subject to the project
- Contribution to the local economy by commissioning local companies for construction and maintenance
- Revitalization of the community in cooperation with citizens by returning a portion of business earnings to the community
- Contribution to sustainable community development
【Environmental Impact Assessment Plan】
Main items to be assessed
Atmospheric environment: Dust Survey, Meteorological Survey
Noise and vibration: Noise survey, Vibration survey, Traffic volume survey
Water quality and environment : Water quality survey, Soil survey
Topography and geology: Boring survey
Plant and animal ecosystems: surveys of plants, animals, insects, fish, etc.
Landscape: Survey of views at viewpoints, etc.
Period of execution
Summer 2023 to Spring 2025
【Outline of project】
Yoshihama, Sanriku-cho, Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture
Kamiarakawa, Karatan-cho, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture
Approx. 96 ha (of which panels will be laid on approx. 20 ha)
Number of solar panels
Annual power generation
In order to “take action for the blue planet,” Shizen Energy will flexibly respond to various needs such as decarbonization and strengthening energy resilience by combining digital technologies such as EMS and storage batteries with the development of renewable energy power sources that exist in harmony with local communities. Together with partners, Shizen Energy aims to realize a 100% renewable energy world as soon as possible.
【About Shizen Energy Inc.】
Founded in June, 2011. With the company purpose of “We take action for the blue planet,” the company’s business includes development, financing, and asset management of renewable energy power plants using solar power, wind power, small-scale hydroelectric power, and biomass. Since 2016, the company has also been focusing on its international operations, expanding its development and power generation projects in areas such as Southeast Asia and Brazil. In 2019, the company also entered the energy tech business, offering micro-grid and VPP construction, smart charging and discharging services for EVs, and other services through its self-developed EMS (energy management system). Shizen Energy Group has been involved in more than 1 GW of renewable energy generation internationally.
・Headquarters: Fukuoka Ohori Bldg. 1-1-6 Arato, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka
・Representative Directors: Ken Isono, Kenji Kawado, Masaya Hasegawa
<For inquiries regarding this press release>
Shizen Energy Inc., Public Relations Department