The additional supply would make up 5 percent of the gap between regional utility Tohoku Electric Power Co's plan to generate 12,100 MW of supply in summer and the government's demand estimate for the Tohoku region of up to 14,800 MW in the event of an unusually hot summer.
Japan's power market is dominated by 10 regional utilities and 1 major power wholesaler. Independent power producers, including those that don't sell power to the 11 grid operators, account for about 15 percent of nationwide power supply.
Separately, Japan plans to financially support companies that can provide power from existing or new in-house power generating facilities to cope with expected power shortages this summer in the aftermath of the devastating March 11 earthquake that has reduced Tohoku Electric and Tokyo Electric Power Co's power output.
The government has set aside 10 billion yen ($122 million) in a draft extra budget to be used to subsidise companies investing in power-generating facilities or to buy fuel for existing facilities so that they can supply at least 500 kilowatts of power during the peak hours in summer to either of the two power firms.
In their output estimates for the summer, the two utilities forecast that 200 MW of power would be provided via the government's subsidy scheme, a trade ministry official has said.
Tokyo Electric is expected to use additional means of power generation and revise up its April 15 forecast for power supply this summer of 52,000 MW, which would still be short of the peak of 60,000 MW hit last summer. ($1 = 81.845 Japanese Yen) (Reporting by Risa Maeda, sourced Thomson Reuters)