Offshore wind farm
Akita prefecture, Japan
Akita Offshore Wind (AOW)
Akita Noshiro offshore wind farm project comprises the Akita and Noshiro offshore wind farms with a combined capacity of 139MW. It is being developed off the coast of Japan.
The project is being led by a special purpose company (SPC) Akita Offshore Wind (AOW) that was established by Marubeni in April 2016.
The construction, operation and maintenance of the project will be supervised by AOW in association with joint business partners, including Obayashi, Tohoku Sustainable & Renewable Energy, Cosmo Eco Power, The Kansai Electric Power, Chubu Electric Power, The Akita Bank, Ohmori, Sawakigumi, Kyowa Oil, Katokensetsu, Akimoku Steel Casting, Kanpu and Sankyo.
The Akita Noshiro offshore wind farm project is being developed with an investment of ¥100bn ($922.5m) and will supply power to approximately 130,000 homes.
The construction of the onshore substation and transmission lines commenced in February 2020. The project is expected to begin commercial operations in 2022.
It is expected to be the first large-scale commercial offshore wind power project in the country.
Akita Noshiro offshore project location
The wind farms will be located at Akita and Noshiro ports in the coastal zone of Akita prefecture. The total project area of both wind farms extends across 730ha in the Tohoku, Japan.
Akita prefecture was selected as it offers favourable wind conditions compared to other prefectures in the country.
Akita Noshiro offshore wind project details
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 feature 13 turbines, while the 84MW Noshiro wind farm will include 20 turbines. The Akita and Noshiro wind farms will be able to power 48,950 and 75,308 homes a year respectively.
Both wind farms will be installed with MHI Vestas’ V117-4.2MW turbines based on fixed-bottom foundations. The V117-4.2MW turbine is designed for medium to high wind speeds and can withstand extreme wind conditions.
The project will also use 33 monopiles and 33 units of 25kt steel transition pieces. The offshore construction work will be performed using Zaratan wind installation vessel, which will be stationed at the Akita and Noshiro ports.
The offshore construction work will begin in 2021, while the turbines are expected to be installed in 2022.
The operations and maintenance of the wind farms will be handled from the base port of Noshiro, under service and maintenance agreements with options for a maximum period of 20 years.
The power generated from the project will be sold to Tohoku Electric Power, under a 20-year power purchase agreement on the basis of the feed-in tariff programme.
Financing for Akita Noshiro offshore wind project
The project’s joint business partners concluded the loan agreements with multiple financial institutions in February 2020. MUFG Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking and Mizuho Bank will serve as the joint mandated lead arrangers.
The Dai-ichi Life Insurance will also source funding for the project, marking it Japan’s first project finance initiative for an offshore wind farm project in the country.
AOW and joint business partners conducted the feasibility study for the project.
Kajima won the engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract, while Sif was subcontracted by Kajima to manufacture and deliver the monopiles and transition pieces.
Seajacks, through its subsidiary Seajacks Japan, signed a foundation installation contract with Kajima in March 2020. The company will deploy its Zaratan vessel to perform the offshore construction works.
Sumitomo Electric will design, produce and install subsea cables for power transmission from the turbines to the onshore network.