The Japanese government is backing an effort to install an experimental floating offshore wind turbine farm off the coast of Fukushima.
Three floating wind turbines and a floating power sub-station will be deployed, starting with the first 2 MW turbine and 66 kV sub-station, as well as an undersea cable, this year.
The initial stage will be followed by the addition of two 7 MW offshore turbines between 2013 and 2015.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is sponsoring the effort, which is being carried out by a consortium consisting of Marubeni, the University of Tokyo, Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, IHI Marine United, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, Nippon Steel, Hitachi, Furukawa Electric, Shimizu and Mizuho Information & Research.
The project hopes to spawn a new renewable energy sector with much needed jobs in the beleaguered Fukushima region, devastated by the tsunami and the subsequent nuclear crisis.
“We believe that creating a practical wind farm business scheme through this experimental project could lead to the deployment of large scale floating wind farms in the future,” the Mitsubishi Corporation said in a statement.
Mitsubishi says the success of the venture could lead to the expansion of floating wind farm technology and its development as a new export industry for Japan.
For further information:
UK’s ETI floats idea for testing offshore wind platform at Wave Hub (21-Feb)
UK’s Energy Technologies Institute rests hopes on floating wind turbine (27-Oct 2011)
Vestas to deploy first-of-its-kind floating platform offshore wind turbines (21-Feb 2011)
07 March 2012