Kusatsu Dream Windmill FarmOperation Will Resume by March12 January 2014 - Local topics
Out of service since last April, "Kusatsu Yume Fusha," or Kusatsu dream windmill farm located in Oroshimo-cho, Kusatsu City, Shiga Prefecture, is now certain to resume its operation within the fiscal year. The lengthy shutdown was due to an extended investigation into the causes of successive accidents at various wind power generation sites. As the farm is a symbolic part of the Kusatsu landscape, there have been numerous inquiries from local residents.
Last March, a wind turbine blade at Taikoyama Wind Farm at Ine-cho, Kyoto Prefecture, fell down. In response to the accident, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry required that all wind turbines be inspected. Due to this, Kusatsu City stopped operation of its wind farm.
After that, there were successive accidents in Mie Prefecture and Hokkaido. During the investigation, the Kusatsu wind farm was also closed, despite the wind turbines in Kusatsu having a different manufacturer than the ones that fell.
The environment division of the city said, "Some citizens have directly contacted our office to ask, 'What's going on?' We have acknowledged their high interest level." They hope operation will resume as soon as they have finished the January safety inspection.
The wind farm was installed on the Karasuma Peninsula in 2001. It generates and supplies electricity for Mizunomori Water Botanical Garden. The farm does not sell its electricity. Its annual maintenance and operation costs are 11.7 million yen according to the initial budget of this year. The farm was shut down previously starting in October 2011 for three months due to a breakdown.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)