Electric supply remains tight in Kanto region

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
JERA’s Anegasaki Thermal Power Station in Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture

The restarting of a power plant allowed the government to lift its power crunch advisory for the Kanto region on Thursday evening, after four consecutive days of warnings amid a heat wave that has stretched the electrical grid.

JERA Co. restarted a 600-megawatt unit at its Anegasaki Thermal Power Station in Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture.

Meanwhile, Joban Joint Power Co. announced the shutdown of a 600-megawatt unit at its Nakoso Thermal Power Station in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, at around 3 a.m. due to an equipment malfunction.

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Nakoso Thermal Power Station in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture

Tohoku Electric Power Co. is an investor in Joban Joint Power Co. and JERA is a joint venture established by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TEPCO) and Chubu Electric Power Co.

The reserve margin — which indicates how much excess capacity there is in the electricity supply — was expected to improve by about 1% following the restart of Anegasaki power plant’s Unit 5, but the malfunction of Nakoso’s Unit 9 kept supply low during the day.

Nakoso’s coal-fired unit supplies electricity to the service areas of Tohoku Electric Power Co. and TEPCO. The plant restarted the reactor on Thursday afternoon with output reduced to 250 megawatts.

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry issued another power crunch advisory on the day, calling for people to conserve electricity when possible, especially between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., when supply is especially tight.

Temperatures in the Kanto region topped 35 C again on Thursday, as a heat wave continued across Japan due to a high-pressure weather system.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People walk along a street with a cooling mist system in Toshima Ward, Tokyo, on Thursday.

The Environment Ministry and the Japan Meteorological Agency announced heatstroke warnings for dozens of prefectures, with Tokyo getting its first alert of the summer.

According to the agency, the mercury hit 36.4 C at 12:43 p.m. in central Tokyo, the highest June temperature ever recorded in the heart of the capital.

As of 4 p.m. Thursday, 178 locations across the nation had recorded temperatures topping 35 C. Hatoyama in Saitama Prefecture recorded the highest temperature at 39.9 C.