Eight years after an earthquake and tsunami transformed Fukushima into the site of one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters, plans are underway to turn the Japanese prefecture into a hub of renewable energy. Japanese officials announced a new $2.7 billion project that will include 11 solar plants and 10 wind farms, built on abandoned or contaminated lands, according to The Nikkei, a Japanese newspaper.
The new solar and wind projects will generate up to 600 megawatts of electricity — roughly two-thirds the output of an average nuclear power plant. Sponsors of the project include the government-owned Development Bank of Japan and Mizuho Bank. Construction is expected to be finished in March 2024.
The renewable energy project also calls for the construction of a 50-mile-wide grid in Fukushima to transmit electricity to Tokyo, 149 miles to the south. The new grid is expected to cost $266 million.
The project is part of a larger push by Fukushima to embrace renewable energy following its nuclear disaster. In 2014, the prefecture announced a goal of getting 40 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2020, two-thirds by 2030, and 100 percent by 2040, The Japan Times reported.