MHI and CIP first to target offshore wind off Hokkaido

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) have formed a joint venture (JV) to develop offshore wind projects off the coast of Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido.

The coast off Shakotan, western Hokkaido (pic credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The coast off Shakotan, western Hokkaido (pic credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The partners will both hold a 50% stake in the JV, and stated that they have high ambitions in Japan’s offshore wind market amid anticipated growth. 

In July, Japan revised its list of sites with potential for offshore wind development – including two sites off Hokkaido for the first time.

Since it was started by Ørsted (then Dong Energy) executives in 2012, CIP has bought stakes in nearly 2GW of onshore wind capacity and 6.7GW of offshore wind capacity in various stages of development, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly. It has been active in Japan since 2018.

Meanwhile, MHI has a significant presence within offshore wind through its turbine manufacturing joint venture with Vestas, MHI Vestas. To date, the JV has focused on established markets in Europe and more recently emerging markets in Asia Pacific.

MHI and CIP are the latest in a long line of partnerships targeting the nascent offshore market:

German developer RWE Renewables and Japanese utility Kyuden Mirai Energy Company are targeting a site off Yurihonjo, in the north-west of Honshu;

Sumitomo Corporationi is leading a group of construction firms, renewable energy developers and oil and gas companies to develop projects off Japan, including a 480MW wind farm off Noshiro;

Canadian renewable energy developer Northland Power is teaming with Japanese counterpart Shizen Energy to develop 600MW of offshore capacity off Chiba, in the south-east of Honshu.

And EDPR and Engie’s newly formed Ocean Winds JV has named Japan as one of its target markets.

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