Danish energy company Ørsted has partnered with Japan Wind Development (JWD) and Eurus Energy to develop offshore wind projects in Japan’s Akita Prefecture.

The partnership will combine JWD’s knowledge of the Japanese power market, Ørsted’s experience in offshore wind farms development and Eurus Energy’s operational track record in the Akita Prefecture.

The companies are also planning to bid in Japan’s upcoming offshore wind auction round, scheduled to close this month.

Ørsted Asia-Pacific Region president Matthias Bausenwein said: “As a strategic market for Ørsted, Japan has great potential and optimal conditions to develop offshore wind.

“Ørsted has a unique opportunity and obligation to be a catalyst for the green transformation in Japan and can be a key player in realising the cost-down journey for offshore wind in the country.”

The three companies are currently developing two offshore wind projects, the Noshiro/Mitane/Oga and the Yurihonjo, in the Akita region under Japan’s Offshore Renewable Energy Act of 2018.

These wind farms are currently progressing with necessary approvals.

Since 2017, the Noshiro and Yurihonjo offshore wind sites have been developed by JWD, which has conducted site investigations, environmental impact assessments and seabed surveys.

For both wind farms, the turbines will be installed on bottom-fixed foundations.

JWD president and CEO Masayuki Tsukawaki said: “By leveraging each company’s long-standing experience and knowledge, working together with local stakeholders, we believe we can build the first large-scale offshore wind farms in Akita successfully.

“We will further contribute to the growth of the offshore wind power industry as well as the development of a sustainable society in Japan.”

Japan has set a target of reaching 30-45GW offshore wind capacity by 2040 and plans to hold offshore wind auctions every year. The country’s west coast is expected to host up to 5GW offshore wind by 2030 and 9GW by 2040.

Under these auction guidelines, Noshiro City, Mitane Town and Oga City have 415MW of combined grid capacity, while Yurihonjo City has 730MW.

Earlier this month, Ørsted and PGE finalised their previously announced joint venture (JV) agreement to build and operate two offshore wind projects, Baltica 2 (1.5GW) and Baltica 3 (1GW), in the Baltic Sea.

The companies will each hold a 50% stake in the offshore wind projects, which will have a total installed capacity of up to 2.5GW and collectively comprise the Baltica Offshore Wind Farm.