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Typhoon-proof wind turbines to help Philippines keep lights on

Japanese startup's system promises stable power for far-flung islands

Challenergy's turbine is designed to work even in fierce gusts that can endanger conventional wind power equipment. (Courtesy of Challenergy and NASA/Reuters)

TOKYO/MANILA -- The Philippines frequently finds itself in the path of powerful typhoons, and a Japanese startup is working on wind power equipment that can stand up to the storms.

Challenergy, the startup, is betting there will be high demand for typhoon-proof turbines on remote Philippine islands that often take direct hits and lack sufficient power infrastructure. The company has formed a joint venture in the Southeast Asian nation with a local partner, after raising about 500 million yen ($4.5 million) by selling shares to four Japanese backers in a private placement.

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