Tokyo Disney Resort Engages Private Power Generation as Energy Shortage Strikes Tokyo Area After Earthquake

As the Tokyo Electric Power Company requests businesses and citizens to reduce their electricity shortage in the wake of last week’s massive earthquake, Tokyo Disney Resort has activated its private power generation methods for the first time to alleviate the extremely high demand on the Tokyo metropolitan area’s power grid the resort requires, according to NHK.

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While Tokyo Disney Resort has a few substations on site to distribute power to Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, the three on-site hotels, offices, and Ikspiari, it usually draws electricity from the local TEPCO power grid. But in the wake of last Wednesday’s massive magnitude 7.4 earthquake in northern Japan, believed to be an aftershock of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, much of Tokyo’s power generation sites are currently down. As a result, TEPCO warned that unless power demand was significantly cut, Tokyo could face rolling blackouts and brownouts as supply would not be able to keep up, the worst electricity squeeze since the disaster itself in 2011.

As such, the Oriental Land Company engaged its backup plans, drawing as much energy as possible from its solar panel fields atop buildings and engaging natural gas-based power generation to alleviate their draw on the grid. These systems were installed in 2011 following the Tohoku disaster, with their private power generation center able to generate up to 15,000kWh of energy alongside the 3,000kWh of power generated by solar and natural gas methods on-site.

Six thermal plants used by TEPCO and sister company Tohoku Electric were rendered unusable as a result of the quake, and power consumption had a sudden surge as unseasonably cold temperatures in Tokyo lead to snowfall, according to The Japan Times. Japan faces long-term power generation challenges as it tries to move to more sustainable energy sources but shuns nuclear power following the Tohoku disaster. Before 2011, nuclear power accounted for more than 30% of Japan’s energy, now accounting for less than 10%, per The Japan Times.

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