Japan’s Ministry of the Environment (MOE) has been forced to delay the launch of a 2MW Hitachi floating offshore wind turbine off the coast of Nagasaki prefecture due to typhoons.
The ministry hoped to launch the
turbine tomorrow (9 October) as part of one of several floating offshore trials
underway in Japan.
The MOE has yet to set a new
launch date but still plans to deploy the floating turbine by the end of this month
near Kabashima Island in western Japan, a spokesperson tells Recharge.
Once launched, the turbine, which
is mounted on a platform supplied by construction services provider Toda,
will be tested for at least 18 months as part of a five-year
The MOE says it has already spent
more than ¥5bn ($51.5m) on the initiative.
Japan is particularly interested in the
potential of floating turbine systems as its surrounding waters are deep with a
steep seabed – making them unsuited to the more commonly used fixed foundations
for offshore wind projects.
In June 2012, Japan installed its first floating turbine, a 100kW
machine supplied by Fuji Heavy Industries, also off Kabashima, near the city of
The Kabashima project will be expanded after 2015, the ministry
This summer conglomerate Marubeni and the University of Tokyo led
a group of 10 companies to install a 2MW Hitachi turbine off the coast of
Fukushima prefecture in Japan's northeast.
That falls under a separate floating offshore initiative for which
Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is providing ¥22bn
in funding support.