MHI Vestas has been lined up to supply a 220MW offshore wind farm in Japan that's tipped to be the nation’s first large-scale project to enter service.

The OEM’s V174-9.5 MW machine is named as “candidate” to equip the 220MW Hibikinada project off Kitakyushu City on Kyushu in southern Japan, in a statement issued by the wind farm’s project company.

The statement does not specify whether or on what basis the turbine choice is the subject of a formal agreement with MHI Vestas, which confirmed to Recharge it is in line to supply the project but declined to comment further at this stage.

Hibikinada is due for construction and operation as early as 2022, and is the first project to advance under Japanese reforms of regulations governing offshore wind operation off the country’s ports. The project will cover a nearshore site of about 2,700 hectares.

Kitakyushu municipal authorities in 2017 selected a consortium including J-Power and regional utility Kyuden Mirai to develop the project. J-Power said earlier that Hibikinada will be “the first commercial scale offshore wind power project in Japan”.

Selection for the project is a big boost for MHI Vestas in Japan, home of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, one of the two joint venture partners in the wind OEM along with Vestas of Denmark. There is already a European link between MHI Vestas and J-Power – the latter is an investor 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.

Early this year Japan’s parliament passed long-awaited legislation paving the way for robust offshore wind development in the East 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.

Siemens Gamesa said 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.