Offshore wind farm development in Japan’s Akita prefecture takes major step forward.

Offshore wind farm development in Japan’s Akita prefecture has taken a major step forward. The next stage of fixed offshore wind farms has moved ahead with the setting and publication of promotion areas in near Noshiro (Noshiro, Mitane and Oga region) and Yurihonjo. Meetings were held for both regions at the end of March, and the areas shown are expected to be designated by early summer 2020.

This extends Akita’s leading position in the Japanese market, with Akita Offshore Wind Farm, developed and funded by a consortium of leading companies, being the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in Japan. RCG has served as technical advisor to the project. The region having two of the four ports nominated by the Japanese government for development to serve offshore wind, in Noshiro and Akita ports.

There are many developers active in the region, including: Obayashi with Kansai Electric and Tohoku Electric; JWD; Sumitomo Corporation; and Renova with Cosmo Eco Power, Tohoku Electric and JR East Energy Development.

The Akita region benefits from a good wind speed, and large natural bays of a suitable water depth and substrate likely to enable more conventional foundation types.  Engineering analysis must always consider the potential for major seismic events when designing for Japanese waters.  There are limited environmental constraints, providing wind farms can co-exist harmoniously with fisheries, in particular hatahata, the designated prefectural fish famed for its role in New Year celebrations.

Contact RCG’s Tokyo team for more information