Japan’s First Commercial-Scale Offshore Wind Farm Completed

Akita Noshiro Offshore Wind Farm installation in process with a wind turbine installation vessel
The Eneti-owned Seajacks Zaratan installs a turbine at Akita Noshiro (AOW)

Published Oct 5, 2022 4:53 PM by The Maritime Executive

The work of installing 33 wind turbines at the 140 MW Akita Noshiro offshore wind farm, the first of its kind in Japan, is now complete. Commissioning is under way and full operation of the project is expected to commence by end of the year.

The fixed-bottom wind project is located in the Sea of Japan off Akita Prefecture. Of the total 33 Vestas 4.2 MW wind turbines installed, 20 are located off  Noshiro while the remaining 13 units are off Akita.

Akita Offshore Wind Corporation (AOW) is the project developer. The firm is a consortium led by the Japanese multinational company Marubeni and a host of other renewable energy investors.

When operational, Akita Noshiro will provide electricity to Tohoku Electric Power, one of the top four largest electric utility company in Japan. The corporation has a 20-year power purchase agreement for the entire output of the offshore wind farm.

In September, construction of another offshore wind project kicked off Hokkaido, approximately three kilometers off the shore of the Ishikari Bay.

The Pattern Energy Group and its affiliate in Japan, Green Power Investment Corporation (GPI) are financing the 112 MW Ishikari Offshore Wind project.
The project also features a battery storage component with 180 MWh capacity. This makes it the first combined offshore wind and power storage facility in Japan.

Since 2020, Japan has accelerated its push for renewable energy, partly hoping to address the currently existing energy supply and demand mismatch.
Japan aims to install up to 10 GW of offshore wind power by 2030. The Global Wind Energy Council claims that Japan has approximately 128 GW of fixed-bottom offshore wind potential and 424 GW of floating wind potential.