Photo/Illutration The Harumi district in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward, which housed the Olympic Village for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, is seen on July 23. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

A new hydrogen station, one of the largest in Japan, will be built in the former athlete's village of last year's Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo’s Harumi district in Chuo Ward.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike made the announcement in a speech at the Asahi Earth Conference 2022 international symposium, hosted by The Asahi Shimbun, which was delivered online on Oct. 16. 

Construction of the station will begin in November.

“Hydrogen can be stored in large quantities for long periods,” Koike said. “Hydrogen energy can support the fluctuating amount of power produced by renewable energy sources (such as solar power,) which are susceptible to the seasons and weather.

Eneos Holdings Inc., a major oil vendor, will develop and operate the hydrogen station based on a plan by the Tokyo metropolitan government.

Tokyo officials said the hydrogen station is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2024.

Hydrogen will be produced with city gas and supplied to apartments and commercial facilities in the area through pipelines under roads.

In the Harumi district, approximately 12,000 people are expected to reside in 23 apartment buildings, including buildings that were used as accommodation facilities for athletes during the Games.

Hydrogen will be converted into electricity using fuel cells installed in each block in the area. The electricity will be used for the lights and elevators of the buildings as well as streetlights, combining with other power.

This is the first initiative in Japan to supply hydrogen as an energy source to a specified area.

If the hydrogen planned to be supplied per day is converted into the operating power of a fuel cell bus, it is equivalent to that of about 40 buses.

In the Harumi district, temporary hydrogen stations were set up during the Games and supplied hydrogen to fuel cell buses that transported athletes to and from the venues.

Hydrogen energy has a low environmental impact because hydrogen emits no carbon dioxide during use. Hydrogen can also be stored and is expected to provide a stable supply.

The metropolitan government set a goal of effectively zero CO2 emissions by 2050 and is aiming to significantly expand its hydrogen use.