On June 15, I flew to Sapporo, Hokkaido to participate in the Energy Innovation Symposium held in Ishikari. At the New Chitose Airport, it was raining. However, the rain stopped by the beginning of the symposium, and I found the weather particularly comfortable compared to hot Osaka.
This symposium was held to commemorate an experimental research project for a high-temperature superconductive direct-current transmission system, which is to be conducted jointly by Chiyoda Corporation, Chubu University, Sakura Internet Inc., and Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.
Superconductivity is a technology that reduces electrical resistance to zero. To be more exact, however, in the case of alternating-current transmission, a slight loss is generated. On the other hand, direct-current transmission is free from such loss. In this regard, there are expectations concerning combination with a direct-current power source, such as solar or wind power generation, as well as concerning use at data centers and other major energy consumers that need low-voltage, high-current electricity.
Sakura Internet Inc., one of our partners for this project, operates a data center in Ishikari. The data center’s energy consumption is reduced significantly by a direct-current supply system and an air-conditioning system utilizing cold open air in Hokkaido. For our experimental research project, we will begin constructing a superconductive direct-current transmission system that includes the data center as a consumer this fiscal year and commence the operation by the end of the next fiscal year.
（⇒Press Release: Experimental Research for High-temperature Superconductive Direct-current Transmission System）
Prior to the symposium, I visited the data center in Ishikari. I was impressed by Sakura Internet Inc.’s attitude of incorporating cutting-edge technologies actively.
Hokkaido is blessed with rich sources of renewable energy, such as sunlight and wind. If the project generates favorable results, it will pave the way to the application in a smart community, where a wide variety of energy sources are used.
The symposium was attended by many persons concerned, such as Mr. Chuichi Date, Senior Vice-Minister of the Cabinet Office, Mr. Toshikazu Masuyama, Director-General of the Hokkaido Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry, Ms. Harumi Takahashi, Governor of Hokkaido, and Mr. Katsusuke Taoka, Mayor of Ishikari City. The event made me aware once again of great expectations placed on us, making me renew my determination to achieve a great success for the project.