Fukushima semi-sub floater finished

A consortium under Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has finished building a V-shaped, semi-submersible apparatus that will be used to float one of two 7MW Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) SeaAngel turbines, as part of the second phase of the Fukushima offshore floating wind demonstration project.

The consortium — which includes Marubeni, MHI, the University of Tokyo, Hitachi, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, Japan Marine United, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp., Furukawa Electric and Shimizu — will finish laying mooring chains, anchors and an undersea cable at the testing site by late August.

It is now preparing to connect an undersea cable made by Furukawa Electric to the Fukushima project's 66kV floating power substation.

MHI is still obtaining parts for the SeaAngel turbine at its dockyard in Yokohama. The semi-sub floating platform is now moored at its shipyard in Nagasaki prefecture, project leader Marubeni said in an online statement.

The consortium expects to mount the turbine on the three-column, semi-sub floating foundation in early December at the port of Onahama, south of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

It plans to wrap up the second phase of the project by installing a second 7MW MHI SeaAngel machine — featuring MHI's digital displacement transmission (DDT), an innovative hydraulics system — on an advanced spar buoy in 2015.

METI invested roughly ¥22bn ($210.5m) in the first phase of the project and plans to spend an additional  ¥31bn to fund the second.

The first phase culminated last November when the consortium switched on a 2MW Hitachi downwind turbine roughly 20km off the coast of eastern Japan. It is mounted on a compact semi-submersible platform and is anchored to the seabed 120 metres below by six 300-tonne chains.

The unit is also connected to a 66kV substation, mounted on an advanced-spar floating foundation.

The consortium hopes to eventually expand the Fukushima project up to a 1GW installation with more than 140 turbines by 2020.