Japan begins 1.45GW wind study

JAPAN: The Japanese government has identified four areas it will look at with the possibility of developing up to 1.45GW of wind projects.

A 2MW floating turbine has been operating off Fukushima since 2013
A 2MW floating turbine has been operating off Fukushima since 2013

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The study will look at the suitability of the areas for wind projects across the country.

In partnership with the local governments, the ministry of environment will study an area off the coast of the Iwate prefecture in north-east Japan for an up to 200MW wind project.

It will also look at two sites off the coast of Kitakyushu in the Fukuoka prefecture in south-west Japan totaling 700MW.

Infrastructure firm Toda Corp will assist with the study of two floating offshore projects off the coast of Nagasaki. The 22MW and 50MW projects could be located off the south-west coast near the island of Goto.

Finally, SB Energy Co will join the study of a 30MW onshore project in the Tottori prefecture on the west coast of Japan.

Studies will begin once a contract has been agreed with the Japanese government, following the announcement of the 2015 budget.

The ministry said today's announcement was made following a call for submissions in February. Six areas applied to the government to conduct a study, the four areas in consideration were considered acceptable by a panel of experts.

In February, a ten-company consortium headed by Hitachi Zosen Corporation (Hitz) received the go-ahead to explore the possibility of an offshore project off the coast of Niigata prefecture in Japan.

Japanese conglomerate Marubeni was also awarded licences to develop two offshore projects totalling 145MW off the north-west coast of Japan in the Akita prefecture.

The Japanese government previously announced plans to spend JPY 7.9 billion ($67.8 million) on offshore technologies this year, according to reports in the Japanese press.

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