JERA Co Inc., a joint venture between TEPCO Fuel & Power based in Japan has announced their plans to construct a 520 MW offshore wind farm in Hokkaido, Japan’s northmost island off Ishikari Bay on the west coast. JERA stated that the facility would consist of up to 65 wind turbines in total located at least 2.5 kilometers offshore from the cities of Ishikari and Otaru. The number of turbines will be lower if the JERA chooses a more powerful windmill that can generate up to 14 MW per unit.
The planners for this project also predict that there may be a deployment of an energy storage system in order to mitigate the impact of wind generation output fluctuations on the power grid. It is estimated that JERA will take around 3 years to complete the construction of the 520 MW Hokkaido offshore wind farm.
The company JERA has also submitted environmental impact documents to the Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry on Monday said it believed Ishikari Bay to be suitable for the development of bottom-fixed offshore wind power generation due to its favorable wind conditions, shallow seabed, and the spare capacity of the nearby power grid.
Recently, Japan announced that though offshore wind power currently provides only a tiny fraction of their electricity supply, it is set to grow after the law, the Offshore Wind Promotion Act, came into force last year to spur development. If the government’s wind power efforts are successful, Japan’s offshore power generation cost could fall to as low as US$0.076 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in the early 2030s, close to the current cost of 5-6 yen/kWh in Europe. Orsted, the world’s largest offshore wind farm developer, together with Tokyo Electric Power Company, also announced plans to make a bid for a planned auction for an offshore wind project off Choshi, in Chiba, near Tokyo.