Fukushima Wind Project to Add Largest Turbine Ever Used at Sea

(Bloomberg) — A floating offshore wind project in northern
Japan will soon add a 7-megawatt turbine, the largest of its
kind ever to be used at sea.

The new turbine will join a smaller 2-megawatt model, which
has been generating power at the project about 20 kilometers (12
miles) off the coast of Fukushima since November 2013. The
turbines are part of a pilot project led by Marubeni Corp. and
funded by the Japanese government.

“Countries are exploring floating offshore wind technology
and Japan is in a sense at the same level with Norway and
Portugal,” as they each have similar projects with about 2
megawatts of capacity, Yasuhiro Matsuyama, a trade ministry
official in charge of clean energy projects, told reporters
Wednesday.

“This will be the world’s first pilot project to use such
an extremely large-size turbine,” he said, adding that the
trial operation may start in September.

The government has allocated 50 billion yen ($405 million)
for the project. The technology involves attaching turbines to
structures that float in areas too deep for traditional towers
fixed to the seafloor.

The new turbine and a floating structure are both made by
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Officials plan to add a 5-megawatt model later to test the
function of various sized turbines, Matsuyama said.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Chisaki Watanabe in Tokyo at
cwatanabe5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at
landberg@bloomberg.net
Iain Wilson, Andrew Hobbs

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