Japan’s first large-scale offshore wind farm has started commercial operations, in another step by the Asian nation towards making the renewable power source a key plank of its energy transition.

The 22 December entry to commercial service at the Noshiro Port element of the 140MW Akita & Noshiro project was announced by lead developer Marubeni.

The Japanese group said it expects to commence output at Akita Port “in due course”.

The last of the 33 Vestas 4.2MW turbines that make up the Akita & Noshiro project were installed in October after a build that was made more challenging by the Covid pandemic.

The project is part of an early initiative by Japan to incentivise offshore wind construction in shallow waters near its ports.

The nation has since started a programme of large-scale tendering designed to help it 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 earlier in 2022 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 in 2023.