The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry plans to expand the power transmission network from fiscal 2013 to promote the use of wind power.
It will designate Hokkaido and part of Tohoku, regions deemed suitable for wind power generation, as target areas for the project. The ministry will create a system under which special-purpose companies (SPCs) will be established by power companies and operators of wind power generation facilities.
The SPCs will be tasked with managing the new power transmission network.
The operators will also be charged a fee for the use of power lines, money that will be used to maintain the new power transmission network. Therefore, it is possible to set up the network without raising electricity rates.
If power companies were left to shoulder the maintenance costs on their own, fixed costs would increase and thus electricity rates would rise for consumers. Given the circumstances, the ministry decided to create the new system.