Japan plans power grid expansion to promote renewable energy

A group set up to coordinate electricity supply and demand across Japan has developed a power grid expansion plan to promote the use of renewable energy.

It aims to connect solar and wind power generators with major cities.

The Organization for Cross-regional Coordination of Transmission Operators, or OCCTO, says the plan includes building an undersea cable to connect Tokyo with the northern island of Hokkaido.

The cable will cost as much as 1.8 trillion yen, or nearly 12 billion dollars. It aims to boost transmission capacity between the two areas by 3.5 times in fiscal 2030.

OCCTO also plans to invest about 2.6 billion dollars to expand the power grid between the western regions of Kyushu and Chugoku. It's aiming for a roughly 30-percent increase in capacity there by the early 2030s.

OCCTO sees expansion of the grids as the key to deliver a stable supply of renewable energy and to help meet Japan's carbon-reduction targets.