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A consortium has officially flipped the switch on its 2 MW floating offshore wind turbine off the coast of Fukushima, Japan, site of the 2011 nuclear disaster. Announced last year, the demonstration project is sponsored by the Japanese government in an effort to test the viability of large-scale floating wind farms.

The 11-member project team includes Marubeni Corp., the University of Tokyo, Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan Marine United, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp., Hitachi, Furukawa Electric, Shimizu, and Mizuho Information & Research.

According to the consortium, the downwind-type floating turbine, a 66 kV floating power substation and an extra-high-voltage undersea cable are all online. The group says it will evaluate the safety, reliability and economic potential of the offshore technology through the collection and analysis of meteorological, hydrographic and performance data during the experimental study.

In addition, the group is targeting to establish the method of operation and maintenance of the offshore floating wind project. Next year, the consortium also plans to install two 7 MW floating wind turbines, bringing the total capacity of the wind farm to 16 MW.

The Fukushima turbine enters operation weeks after a similar project off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan, came online. Installed by a Toda Corp.-led group, that demonstration project is also testing a 2 MW floating turbine and backed by the government.




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