Renewable Energy

Creators of renewable energy

Achieving stable, safe, and accident-free operations through
rigorous maintenance and building relationships as a member of the community

Interview


A staff member of JRE Sakata Wind Farm (“Sakata”)


A staff member of Nakakyushu Onitayama Wind Farm (“Nakakyushu”)

Please tell us about the work you do.

Sakata: My main job is conducting inspections, troubleshooting, and organizing and analyzing turbine operation data to ensure safe and stable operation of the turbines at a wind power plant in Tohoku. I also do administrative work, including sourcing power plant parts and equipment and managing the office budget.

Nakakyushu: I work at a wind power plant in a mountainous area of Kyushu, and my work duties are virtually the same as Sakata’s. We are good colleagues and friends even though we work in very distant locations, Tohoku and Kyushu. Sometimes he comes from Tohoku to help with scheduled inspections and sometimes we see each other at the biannual all-company meetings. We exchange information by phone and email on a regular basis. Incidentally, we joined the company in the same year, but I’m a little older.

Is there anything that you focus on constantly when performing your work?

Nakakyushu: Safety first is our motto, because of the risk of working high off the ground. I also value building trust as a member of the community. I actively host tours of the power plant and also participate in community events and school lectures.

Sakata: Winter is the most profitable time for wind power plants since the wind is stable. So I’m very meticulous when doing inspections, especially during the early-autumn inspection, to prevent system malfunctions and keep the turbines operating during that season.

Have any experiences while working for JRE left a deep impression on you?

Nakakyushu: I would have to say, the first time I climbed up a turbine tower. I’m scared of heights, so I remember feeling awe-struck by the scenery from the nacelle while my legs were shaking from fear. That was memorable.

Sakata: For me it was struggling to learn the specialized technical terms during my first months at the company. I was strongly aware of the need to improve my English skills since most manuals were written in English and many of the staff at our partner companies are from other countries.

Please share your personal impressions of each other.

Nakakyushu: When he came to help with a scheduled inspection, I invited him to my home and was shocked to learn that he’s a hearty drinker. It didn’t seem to match his peaceful face. Also, he’s physically active and likes bikes and motorcycles. He’s a nice guy with many surprises.

Sakata: He is family minded and is affectionate with his children. He loves kids so much that he holds kendo classes for local children. Thanks to him, I’ve started to feel like I want an affectionate family like his.

Lastly, what are your aspirations and goals, both in work and in your personal life?

Sakata: Some of the power plants will soon reach the end of their useful life and will require getting a permit to rebuild. I would really like to be part of the engineering team on projects like that. The plant I work at has the longest operating history of JRE’s wind power plants, so I want to share the know-how and insights I’ve gained through operation and maintenance with staff at other power plants and help them achieve the right balance between operation safety and efficiency.


Nakakyushu: When someone in the community greets me and says, “The wind turbines were moving fast today,” it makes me happy because it means the power plant is recognized as part of the community. I would like the power plant to not only contribute to the local economy through our power generation business but also remain an object of endearment in the community as a local landmark. To do that, I’m committed to maintaining the plant with the utmost care so that we operate safely, with zero accidents.

Related pages
  • Onshore wind power generation business

  • List of Power Plants

Renewable Energy