Japan identifies four areas for 1.45 GW of wind projects

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The Japanese government has identified four more locations across the country to install wind energy projects. The country plans to increase its wind energy capacity by 1.45GW through the projects.

Of the four areas identified, three are for offshore projects and one for an onshore project. One area identified is off the Iwate prefecture in northeast Japan. Another off the coast of Kitakyushu in Fukuoka prefecture, southwest Japan, is for two offshore projects. A third area off the coast of Nagasaki near the island of Goto is proposed for two floating projects. And the fourth area, for the onshore project, is at Tottori prefecture on the west coast of Japan.

The government has accepted the four areas for wind-power projects based on the recommendation of a panel of experts. Originally, six areas had applied to the government to conduct a feasibility studies in February.

Now the Japanese ministry of environment, in partnership with local governments, will be studying the areas identified for the feasibility of the projects. The area off the coast of Iwate Prefecture is in consideration for a 200MW wind project. The locations off the coast of Kitakyushu will be studied for projects totaling production of 700 MW.

Infrastructure firm Toda Corp will assist the ministry with the study of the two floating projects (22MW and 50MW) off the coast of Nagasaki. A 2MW floating turbine is already operating off Fukushima since 2013.

Further, SB Energy Co will be joining the ministry for the study of feasibility of a 30MW onshore project in Tottori prefecture.

Studies will begin once the respective contracts are okayed by the Japanese government post the 2015 budget.

In February, a consortium of ten companies headed by Hitachi Zosen Corporation (Hitz) had received the go-ahead to explore the possibility of a wind farm off the coast of Niigata prefecture in Japan.

Also, Japanese conglomerate Marubeni was awarded licences to develop two offshore projects totalling 145MW off the northwest coast of Japan in the Akita prefecture.

The media in Japan had reported earlier that the Japanese government had allocated 7.9 billion yen ($67.8 million) for offshore technologies in 2015.

Ajith Kumar S

[email protected]

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