Offshore wind OEM MHI Vestas has confirmed it will supply its top-of-the-range V174-9.5MW turbines for the 220MW Hibikinada project being developed off the southwest coast of Japan by a consortium led by J-Power and regional utility Kyuden Mirai.

Selection for Hibikinada, slated to be in operation as early as 2022, is a breakthrough for the Danish-Japanese OEM in Japan, home of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, one of the two joint venture partners in the wind OEM along with Vestas of Denmark.

The order, reported in Recharge last month, is also a key step forward for the first project to advance under Japanese reforms of regulations governing offshore wind operation off the country’s ports.

“It is a great honour for [us] to be confirmed as preferred wind turbine supplier for the Hibikinada,” said MHI Vestas CEO Philippe Kavafyan.

“Relying on our strong parent company, MHI [Mitsubishi Heavy Industries], we will bring our flagship V174-9.5MW technology and recognised offshore wind experience to serve Japan’s ambitious renewable energy development plans.”

J-Power and MHI Vestas have an existing relationship via the former’s investment in the Triton Knoll project, one of the largest wind farms under construction off the UK, which will use the OEM’s 9.5MW turbines.

MHI Vestas rival Siemens Gamesa stated in June it won the first large-scale deal for a major Japanese offshore wind project with a preferred supplier nod for a 455MW project that is due to enter service in 2024.

Early this year Japan’s parliament passed long-awaited legislation clearing the way for long-term offshore wind development in the Asian island nation, which is seen as among the next wave of key growth markets for both fixed-bottom and floating wind power. The government is set to hold national tenders next year.

The International Energy Agency’s first stand-alone report on the offshore wind, forecast the global build-out under way now could expand 15-fold in the next 20 years, from the current 23GW installed to 340GW, with Asia a growing force in the market.