Ten companies plan to develop a 270MW-capacity geothermal power plant in the Bandai Asahi National Park in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

The companies involved in the Fukushima geothermal project team are Idemitsu Kosan, Inpex, Sumitomo, Japan Petroleum Exploration (JAPEX), Geothermal Energy Research & Development, Japan Metals & Chemicals, Mitsui Oil Exploration, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical, Mitsubishi and Mitsubishi Materials.

The team will carry out the initial phase of the study this fiscal year. If the study yields positive geothermal potential results, it will conduct the second phase in 2015 to 2016, assuming the cooperation of local communities.

The study will include a micro-seismicity survey, which can be carried out by installing sensors to detect and record micro-earthquakes. Environmental research including the likely impact on the social and natural environment will also be examined.

The Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry plans to subsidise the study for the potential geothermal plant, which is likely to be operational by 2023. The country is estimated to have potential geothermal resources of 23.5 million kWh.

Japan can produce around 25% of its electricity from 53 active nuclear plants. It plans to diversify its energy mix by harnessing renewable sources after the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster.