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Offshore Wind

Japan to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm

Japan to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm
The 1-GW offshore wind farm will sit off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture

Japan is decided to turn its back from nuclear power, unveiling its plan to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm right on the site of Daiichi nuclear power plant devastated by earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

By 2020, the 143 wind turbines will be set up on platforms 10 miles off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture, according to a report.

With a capacity to generate 1 gigawatt of power, the offshore wind facility will aid to Japan’s goal of raising renewable energy sources share following the post-tsunami shutdown of the country’s 54 nuclear reactors.

Once completed, it is expected to surpass the 504-megawatt power generation capacity of 140 turbines at the Greater Gabbard farm off the coast of Suffolk in Britain, currently the world’s largest wind farm online. It will also beat the London Array in the Thames Estuary, where 175 turbines will produce 630 megawatts of power when it starts its operation later this year.

“This project is important -- I think it is impossible to use nuclear power in Fukushima again,” said project manager Takeshi Ishihara of the University of Tokyo.

The Fukushima prefecture seeks to become entirely energy-sufficient by 2040 through renewable sources alone. It will also build the country’s largest solar park in its Minamisoma City.

Wind energy projects in Japan are supported by generous feed-in tariff scheme of the government, paid at 23.1 yen ($0.6) per kilowatt-hour, twice as much the rate in Germany.

Over the next three years, the nation’s wind capacity could reach 7.6 gigawatts, estimated CLSA Asia-Pacific, an independent equity brokers and financial services group. – EcoSeed Staff

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