Japan has switched on its first floating wind turbine since the Fukushima Forward project commissioned in 2014, with the Hibiki pilot unit now turning off Kitakyushu, in the north of the island nation.

The prototype, made up a 3.2MW Aerodyn two-bladed turbine set atop a steel ‘damping pool’ platform built by Hitachi Zosen with French technology outfit Ideol, has been installed as part of project being run by Nedo, the government’s industrial R&D department.

“This new floating turbine will help develop the technologies for future cost reduction [though testing] of the very light rotor and nacelle of the two-bladed rotor, super compact drive-train designed by Aerodyn and a new concept floater, designed by Ideol, that may reduce the floater movement,” said Yoshinori Ueda, general manager of the Japan Wind Power Association, which has supported the project.