Almost one year after an earthquake and tsunami hit Fukushima and sent three out of six of its nuclear reactors into meltdown, the Japanese government has announced plans to install two Mitsubishi Heavy 7MW turbines, and a 2MW turbine made by Fuji Heavy, at a floating wind farm off the coast of the devastated prefecture. Recharge News reports that the estimated ¥12.5 billion project is part of a government plan to kick-start the country’s offshore wind sector and rejuvenate the Fukushima region. Tokyo has flagged plans to install 1GW of offshore wind power in the Fukushima region, and Japan’s Wind Power Association estimates potential for 519GW of floating offshore wind capacity in Japan. “The Tokyo area has good potential for offshore. It’s easy to get grid connections. The Fukushima nuclear power plants will never operate again so there’s a vacant grid line there,” says Yoshinori Ueda, assistant general manager at MHI.
The floating wind farm will be located between 20-40km offshore, where ocean depths range from 100-150 metres, the average wind speed is more than 7-metres per second and wave heights are 10-15 metres. It will be built by a consortium including Japanese trading house Marubeni, MHI, Mitsubishi Corp, IHI Marine United, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, Nippon Steel, Hitachi, Furukawa Electric and Shimizu; with consultation from the University of Tokyo and Mizuho Information & Research Institute. The first phase of the project, due to be completed by March 2013, will see the installation one of Fuji Heavy’s Subaru80 2MW turbines with a four-column, semi-submarine type floater and a 66kV floating offshore substation. In the second phase, from 2013-15, Mitsubishi Heavy will install two of its new 7MW turbines, with a three-column, semi-submarine type floater.
Mitsubishi Heavy’s 7MW turbine, known as the ‘SeaAngel’ and developed with about ¥5 billion in backing from the Japanese government, uses a hydraulic transmission system to eliminate the need for a gearbox. The first prototype is set to be installed onshore in the UK next year, ahead of the Fukushima offshore project.
Source: Renew Economy