Orsted Joins with Japanese Partners in Auction for Offshore Windfarms

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With the next round of Japan’s offshore wind auctions scheduled to close late next week, the Japan Wind Development Company has formed a partnership with Ørsted and Eurus Energy to participate in the auctions for in the Akita Prefecture. The competition for these areas is believed to be strong and attracting interest from all the leading global participants in offshore wind.

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism are jointly running the auction process which includes three zones in the Akita area, which will become Japan’s first fixed-bottom offshore wind farm located in the Sea of Japan off the northwestern coast of the main island. The government had identified the area as a prime area for wind development in 2019 and it has already undergone wind and geological surveys.

Masayuki Tsukawaki, JWD’s President and CEO noted that they have been pursuing opportunities for offshore wind farm development for many years in the area. “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 and further contribute to the growth of the offshore wind power industry as well as to the development of a sustainable society in Japan.”

The partnership looks to leverage the international experience as well as the company’s local market knowledge. Eurus Energy, which is a joint venture of Toyota Tsusho Corporation and Tokyo Electric Power Company, is Japan’s largest wind power developer. The three companies are currently developing two designated offshore wind sites both of which are located off the coast of Akita. Both of those projects are currently progressing with the necessary permitting. 

“As a strategic market for Ørsted, Japan has great potential and optimal conditions to develop offshore wind,” said Matthias Bausenwein, President of Region Asia-Pacific at Ørsted. “We are excited to further expand our footprint in the country and assist in developing renewable energy through our partnership with JWD and Eurus in the Akita Prefecture.”

Orsted and its Japanese partners are expected to face strong competition in the bidding process for these prime locations. Bidding opened late last year and closes on May 27. 

Japan has outlined a 30-45 GW offshore wind ambition by 2040 and plans to execute offshore wind auctions every year. Japan’s west coast is expected to host up to 5 GW offshore wind by 2030, and 9 GW by 2040. 

The opportunities in the Japanese market have drawn attention from leading companies around the world. The major Japanese shipping companies have also announced that they are developing new operations to assist with the installation and servicing of the offshore wind farms.

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