Japan’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm is fully in the water in a milestone for the Asian nation’s energy transition.

All 33 Vestas 4.2MW are in place at the 140MW Akita & Noshiro project off Akita prefecture, the first deployment of a major array in a nation that has so far seen only small-scale pilot deployments off its coasts.

The completion of the work was announced by Seajacks, whose Zaratan vessel has been installing the turbines since July.

Akita & Noshiro, owned by a consortium led by Japanese giant Marubeni, is expected to be commissioned by the end of the year. “It is a testament to the capabilities of all parties, that the project has been completed safely and without any major incidents, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Seajacks CEO Blair Ainslie.

The project was built under an earlier Japanese scheme to support development of offshore wind in ports areas.

The nation has since started a programme of large-scale tendering designed to help the country achieve some of the world’s most ambitious offshore wind targets, including allocating 10GW by 2030 and installing up to 45GW by 2040.

However, the auctions were put on hold after the first 1.7GW round was hoovered up entirely by consortia led by Mitsubishi, prompting a look at a redesign of the mechanism before resumption later this year.