In an effort to diversify Japan’s energy mix and develop wind turbine technology, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has partnered with Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) and Electric Power Development Co. (J-Power) in the completion of two offshore facilities. Masaharu Itoh, director of the new energy technology department of NEDO, said that the 2.4-megawatt turbine installed by Tepco is built off Choshi in Chiba Prefecture, while the 2-megawatt turbine off Kitakyushu on the southern island of Kyushu will be completed next month through J-Power.
According to Itoh, since onshore wind turbines are already considered proven technology, it is difficult for Japanese turbine makers to boost market share. “As for offshore, we still have a chance” to grab market share with large-sized turbines being made in Japan, he said in an interview yesterday. He also added that Japan will use the power generation data from the two turbines in different locations to aid in rising above any possible technological barriers.
The projects each cost about 5 billion yen (approx. $53.4 million) for the construction of a turbine and an observation tower. They are the first in the country to be built more than 1 kilometer from the coastline. In the meantime, the Choshi turbine is expected to begin operations in early March while the Kitakyushu turbine will start generating power sometime in June or July.