Fukushima floating trial set for installation

JAPAN: Installation of wind turbines in the testing phase of the biggest offshore floating project to date will finally get under way this week, 20 kilometres off the coast of Fukushima.

Two 2MW downwind floating turbines are scheduled to be towed from shipyards belonging to Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding in Chiba prefecture to Onahama port on 28 June, according to a new schedule released by Takeshi Ishihara a civil engineering professor at the University of Tokyo and technical adviser to the project.

A previous 27 June departure was postponed due to forecasts for poor wind and sea conditions in the area.

Electrical works and tests are scheduled to take place during the first couple of weeks of July, and the turbines should be towed to, and moored in place in, the testing area some 20 kilometres off the coast of Fukushima prefecture from late July until mid-August.

A 66kV floating sub-station is set to be towed from Yokohama to the testing area between 6 and 8 July and moored in the middle of the month.

The cable is scheduled to be loaded on ship, laid and sunk in the seabed from the end of July until the end of August. It is planned to connect the cable some time in the month of August, with the project due to start generating power in mid-September.

The massive floating wind farm project, which is being developed by an 11-entity consortium lead by Marubeni Corporation, may eventually see 132 floating turbines come on line. It has been named Fukushima Mirai, literally the future of Fukushima, and has been planned as part of post-nuclear disaster recovery efforts in the area.

The project fulfils a ten-year dream for Ishihara.

"I feel that we have taken the first real step towards finally realising the dream I have embraced for the past ten years. I am really pleased," he told Windpower Monthly.