Akita Noshiro offshore wind farm is a project comprising of the Akita and Noshiro offshore wind farms both with a total capacity of 139MW. The scheme is being developed off the coast of Japan. The wind farms will be situated at Akita and Noshiro ports in the coastal areas of Akita prefecture. The project’s total area of the two wind farms extends along 730ha in Tohoku, Japan. Akita prefecture was chosen due to its favorable wind conditions in comparison with the other country’s prefectures.
The large-scale commercial offshore wind power project.
Development is being ushered by a special purpose company (SPC) Akita Offshore Wind (AOW) which was founded by Marubeni in April 2016. AOW will be responsible for constructing, operating, and maintaining the project while in association with joint business partners comprising of Obayashi, Cosmo Eco Power, Tohoku Sustainable & Renewable Energy, Akimoku Steel Casting, The Kansai Electric Power, The Akita Bank, Chubu Electric Power, Ohmori, Kyowa Oil, Sawakigumi, Katokensetsu, Kanpu, and Sankyo. The investment cost for the Akita Noshiro offshore wind farm project is ¥100bn ($922.5m) with the facility set to supply power to around 130,000 homes.
The Akita and Noshiro project involves the installation of bottom-fixed offshore wind turbines along with an onshore substation and transmission lines. The 55MW Akita wind farm will contain 13 turbines, while the 84MW Noshiro facility will have 20 turbines. Both farms will have the ability to annually power 48,950 and 75,308 homes respectively. The wind farms will be fixed with MHI Vestas’ V117-4.2MW turbines rooted on fixed-bottom foundations. The V117-4.2MW turbine is modeled for medium to high wind speeds and can hold out against extreme wind conditions. The scheme will also deploy 33 monopiles and 33 units transition pieces of 25kt steel. The offshore building work will be done using a Zaratan wind installation vessel, that will be stationed at the ports of Akita and Noshiro. It will become Japan’s first large-scale commercial offshore wind power scheme
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Onshore substation and transmission lines construction started in February. The joint business partners for the scheme finalized the loan agreements with multiple financial institutions also in February. Mizuho Bank, MUFG Bank, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking will work as the joint mandated lead arrangers.
In march Seajacks, through Seajacks Japan, its subsidiary signed a foundation installation contract with Kajima ( contractor) in March 2020. The company is using its Zaratan vessel to carry out the offshore construction works.
The offshore construction work began with the turbines expected to be installed in 2022. The wind farms operations and maintenance are set to be handled from Noshiro base port, under service and maintenance agreements with an alternative maximum period of 20 years. Tohoku Electric Power will buy the power generated on a 20-year power purchase agreement based on the feed-in tariff program. The Dai-ichi Life Insurance will also offer to fund the scheme, marking it Japan’s first scheme finance initiative for an offshore wind farm project.
The project’s feasibility study was done by AOW and joint business partners. Kajima was awarded the engineering, procurement, construction, and installation (EPCI) tender, while Sif was subcontracted by Kajima for making and delivering the monopiles and transition pieces. The design, production, and installation of subsea cables for power transmission from the turbines to the onshore network will be done by Sumitomo Electric. The scheme is set to start its commercial operations in 2022.
On Friday 10th, Japan’s industry ministry launched a public auction/tender to select an operator for the 356 megawatts (MW) offshore wind power project in Happo-Noshiro, off Akita prefecture in northern Japan.
According to the ministry, the tendering process would run until June 10, 2022, and the results are expected to come in around December 2022.
This same month, on the 12th day, a SAL ship carrying the first batch of wind turbine parts, particularly 11 wind turbine tower sections, entered the Akita Port barely 2 weeks after it departed from Taicang Port in China.
The remaining turbine components will be shipped to the Akita Port gradually, and in time for the start of turbine installation work that is scheduled for spring 2022.
On December 24th, a second SAL ship carrying 17 nacelles and 30 blades, arrived at Akita Port in Japan from the Port of Esbjerg in Denmark.