Photo/IllutrationHahajima island, part of the Ogasawara chain south of Tokyo (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

A remote Tokyo island will harness the sun's energy to power several hundred households for six months in a government-supported trial to expand renewable energy use.

The demonstration trial on the Ogasawara chain's Hahajima island will start in fiscal 2022 and will be run by the Tokyo metropolitan government, TEPCO Power Grid Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), and Ogasawara village.

About 280 households on the island receive electricity from diesel power generation. Switching to solar power generation will help reduce carbon dioxide and diesel exhaust emissions and also lead to local energy production and consumption.

The three parties signed an agreement in December in which it was decided that the metropolitan government and Ogasawara village will provide 20,000 to 30,000 square meters of vacant space for free for TEPCO Power Grid to install solar panels and rechargeable batteries for the project.

The TEPCO subsidiary will embark in February on a three-year examination of the natural environment of the Ogasawara island chain, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Solar panels will then be set up over the course of about a year.

The trial will run for three years from the end of fiscal 2022, to demonstrate if the island can be provided with energy for six months solely through solar power. If it is successful, other islands will also be considered.