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Offshore Wind Power in Japan

By the end of 2016 Japan has 64.60MW of offshore wind power, including two 2MW, one 5MW and one 7MW floating wind turbines. Japanese government fixed 36 JPY/kWh of feedin- tariff for offshore wind power in March 2014. This is 1.60 times higher than the onshore tariff 22JPY/kWh. There are further 1,850MW of offshore wind power projects currently under planning. Japanese Ministry of Infrastructure, Land and Tourism (MILT) has amended its Port and Harbor Law to promote offshore wind power development at port associated sea area in May 2017. Most of new projects are fixed foundation type, and they are planned in the port associated area. Several projects shall start construction within a couple of years.

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Yoshinori Ueda

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By the end of 2016 Japan has 64.60MW of offshore wind power, including two 2MW, one 5MW and one 7MW floating wind turbines. Japanese government fixed 36 JPY/kWh of feedin- tariff for offshore wind power in March 2014. This is 1.60 times higher than the onshore tariff 22JPY/kWh. There are further 1,850MW of offshore wind power projects currently under planning. Japanese Ministry of Infrastructure, Land and Tourism (MILT) has amended its Port and Harbor Law to promote offshore wind power development at port associated sea area in May 2017. Most of new projects are fixed foundation type, and they are planned in the port associated area. Several projects shall start construction within a couple of years.

Nearshore at Setana & Sakata

The offshore wind power experience in Japan is divided to several stages. Offshore wind in Japan started at nearshore locations. Two 600kW Vestas turbines were installed by the local government at Setana Port in the Hokkaido in December 2003. Another two 2MW Vestas turbines were installed by Sumitomo Trading Co. at Sakata Port in the Yamagata prefecture in January 2004. Sumitomo sold the site to Japan Renewable Energy Co. in April 2015. Dolphin foundations were used for both projects.

Commercial nearshore project at Kamisu & recent Akita Port

Commercial developers, especially Komatsuzaki Co., the local wind power developer in the Ibaraki prefecture, have taken the initiative in the second stage. Seven 2MW turbines with downwind rotor made by Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), were installed on monopile foundations at just 50 metres offshore from the coast at Kamisu in the Ibaraki prefecture near Tokyo in February 2010. The wind turbine division of FHI had merged with Hitachi in 2013. This semi-offshore wind farm is famous for surviving the large earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. Eight more 2MW turbines were added nearby in February 2013. The second initiative included a single Siemens 3MW turbine installed on a monopile foundation by Eurus Energy at 100-metre offshore from the Akita port in February 2015.

NEDO’s National projects at Choshi and Kitakyusyu

The third stage includes four projects by the Japanese government. The first project is by the Japanese New Energy and Industrial technology Development Organisation (NEDO) and uses fixed foundations. Three other projects, by the Japanese Ministry of Environment (MOE), the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the NEDO, aim to develop floating offshore wind power projects. The NEDO conducted an Offshore Wind Power Demonstration Project at Choshi and Kitakyusyu. One Mitsubishi 2.40MW turbine was installed on a gravity foundation made by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) at a location three kilometer offshore from Choshi in the Chiba prefecture in March 2013. In another project from Japan Steel Work(JSW) a 2MW gearless PMSG turbine was installed on a jacket-gravity hybrid foundation by J-Power 1.50 kilometres offshore from Kitakyusyu in the Fukuoka prefecture in June 2013.

MOE’s GOTO FOWT project at Kabashima

The MOE has conducted a Floating Offshore Wind Turbine Demonstration Project (GOTO FOWT) at Kabashima in the Goto-islands in the Nagasaki prefecture. A FHI second hand 100kW wind turbine was modified by FHI from upwind to downwind rotor. It was anchored one kilometre offshore from Kabashima in July 2012. It operated for about one year and was dismantled in June 2013. Then anemometer tower was installed instead of the wind turbine on its floater. A replacement Hitachi 2MW downwind rotor wind turbine was putted on a spar type floater at the sea by Toda Co. and it was anchored in its place in October 2013. The electricity produced by this wind turbine was used for producing hydrogen in 2015. The hydrogen was fed for fuel cells which motored the maintenance boat. This project finished in FY2015. Then, the 2MW floating turbine was transferred from MOE to Goto city. It was moved to the neighbor Fukue island and re-connected to the grid line in March 2016. It got the first approval of selling its electricity as offshore wind power PPA price 36JPY/kWh. It will be kept until 2019.

METI’s Fukushima FORWARD project

The METI has conducted a Floating Offshore Wind Farm Demonstration Project (Fukushima FORWARD) in the Fukushima prefecture. One Hitachi 2MW downwind rotor wind turbine was anchored on a three-column, semi-sub type floater about 20 kilometre offshore from Iwaki in the Fukushima prefecture in December 2013. The substation is anchored on a spar type floater next to the 2MW floating turbine. A Mitsubishi 7MW hydraulic drive turbine was installed on a V shape, semi-sub type floater at the Onahama Port quay in summer in 2015. Then, it was carried to 20 kilometre offshore and was anchored in September in 2015. A Hitachi 5MW downwind rotor wind turbine on a advanced compressed spar type floater was carried from Dockyard in Osaka bay to Fukushima in May and was anchored in August in 2016. The full 14MW shall be in operation at the end of 2016. The NEDO has started a new Advanced Floating

Offshore Wind Turbine Demonstration Project in autumn 2014. Their intentions are to build several floating offshore turbines and achieve cost reduction applying innovative technologies worldwide by 2017. NEDO conducted feasibility study in 2015. NEDO decided in 2016 to build two floating wind turbines about 7MW in total using French IDEOL’s moonpool type floater at Kita-kyushu offshore.

Commercial projects under planning

The fourth stage is led by commercial projects. 15 projects, representing in total 1,845MW, are now under development. Most of the commercial projects will use fixed foundations. One 20MW project at Goto city is floating type. Ten of these projects, with a total of 800MW, will be installed near the port where it is easy to get development permission and take the fishermen’s rights into consideration. The other four projects, with a total of 1,035MW, will be located out of port area. Several biddings were conducted by local governments in 2015 and 2016.

Remaining obstacles

The business risk became low at port associated area, because of the law amendment by MILT. Several Japanese companies, such as Penta Ocean Construction Co. intend to build or rent a jack-up ship now. Therefore, offshore wind power development in Japan has moved slowly to realise now.

 
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