Japan has switched on its first floating wind turbine because the Fukushima Forward project commissioned in 2014, with the Hibiki pilot unit now turning off Kitakyushu, within the north of the island nation.
The prototype, made up a 3.2MW Aerodyn two-bladed turbine set atop a metal ‘damping pool’ platform constructed by Hitachi Zosen with French technology outfit Ideol, has been put in as a part of project being run by Nedo, the federal government’s industrial R&D division.
“This new floating turbine will help develop the technologies for future cost reduction [though testing] of the very light rotor and nacelle of the two-bladed rotor, super compact drive-train designed by Aerodyn and a new concept floater, designed by Ideol, that may reduce the floater movement,” mentioned Yoshinori Ueda, common supervisor of the Japan Wind Power Association, which has supported the project.
“It is pretty new technology, with some risk,” he added. “But, to lighten tower top weight is the best way to reduce the cost for floating offshore wind power. Therefore, it worth taking risk to achieve the cost reduction.”
The start-up of Hibiki, constructed on the Sakai dockyard in Osaka, comes a 12 months the installation off France of Ideol’s flagship, the 2MW FloatGen, which is constructed round an open-centred 36-metre-square, 10.8-metre-deep platform manufactured from bolstered and pre-stressed concrete.
Last May, Ideol linked up with global investment giant Macquarie to develop the world’s first commercial-scale floating offshore wind farm off Japan, signing a memorandum of understanding that foresees starting building in 2023 of the “multi-hundred megawatt” project.
The Japanese floating wind power market stalled after the high-cost 14MW Fukushima demonstrator project – which lately decommissioned one of many 4 models on the website – however business views of the potential off the island nation have improved significantly, helped by bullish analysts, together with Wood Mackenzie which sees “explosive growth” in Asia’s offshore fleet will assist gasoline 723GW of worldwide wind additions within the 2019-28 interval.
Floating wind tilts in direction of a fast-approaching horizon
Japanese officers will quickly launch operational pointers for a primary offshore wind tender set to take place in the first half of 2020, though with a stipulation that the public sale be restricted to areas with water depths of 30 metres or much less, floating wind can be successfully shut out of this spherical.
From a single industrial-scale prototype in 2009, floating wind is now progressing at a clip towards commercialisation, with arrays on-line or in growth off Scotland, Portugal and France, Korea and within the US Pacific, in addition to off Japan. With a subsequent technology of floating wind ideas now heading for prototype testing , many analyst forecasts level to a fleet of 15GW or bigger by 2030.