wiredInUSA September 2018

Japan’s solar boost

Hong Kong cable news

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

Facebook’s 41.6666 percent stake has emerged as the dominant shareholder in a planned new cable linking Hong Kong, Taiwan and California. The Hong Kong-Americas (HKA) cable, announced in January 2018, will have a total design capacity of 76.8Tbps, or 12.8Tbps per fiber pair, and is due to enter service in late 2020. Partners in the project include two of the three Chinese carriers as well as Tata Communications and Telstra, but Edge USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Facebook, will be the dominant shareholder. Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) has the contract to build the cable. The HKA cable will be 13,780km in total length, including branches. There will be two landing stations in the US, at Hermosa Beach and Manchester, both in California, and two in Asia, at Chung Hom Kok, Hong Kong, and at Toucheng, Taiwan. Facebookand Telstrawill own the Toucheng branch, with Facebook having a two-thirds stake.

Following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that forced the shutdown of all nuclear power plants, Japan’s ministry of economy, trade and industry asked the country to conserve electricity during the hot summer months. However, with the rise of solar power, the Japanese government has refrained from issuing requests since 2016, with trade minister Hiroshige Seko announcing on 24 th July 2018 that special energy-saving efforts are unnecessary. As temperatures reached record highs across Japan this summer, solar power helped to weather the surge in electricity usage. A representative of Tokyo Electric Power Co Holdings (TEPCO) said that during times of peak demand the company can obtain nearly ten million kilowatts of solar power, or about 20 percent of total power needed. A substantial portion of this is provided by companies and households equipped with solar panels, who sell their surplus power to the utility. Before the 2011 earthquake and subsequent Fukushima Daiichi disaster, nearly 30 percent of TEPCO’s annual electricity output was nuclear-derived.

wiredInUSA - September 2018


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