April 15 (Renewables Now) - Japan's Hitachi Zosen Corp (TYO:7004) on Friday said it has set up a joint venture (JV) with Eco Power Co Ltd to build and operate a 500-MW wind farm off the coast of Aomori prefecture in northeastern Japan.
The new entity, called Aomori Nishikita Offshore Wind Power Joint Company, will be based in Osaka. Hitachi Zosen and Eco Power will each own a 50% stake in the company, which will install and operate the offshore wind turbines off Aomori prefecture and supply electricity on the wholesale market.
The proposed Nishikita wind park will consist of up to 125 turbines with an individual capacity ranging between 4 MW and 9.5 MW. It is planned to become operational after 2025, according to Hitachi Zosen's statement.
At the end of 2018, the world's installed offshore wind capacity stood at 28.14 GW, according to a recent report by the Global Wind energy Council (GWEC). The Asia-Pacific region accounted for 4.8 GW of that, mainly thanks to China which has built almost 4.6 GW of offshore wind parks. Still, other countries hold significant potential. GWEC says in the report that Taiwan, South Korea and Japan are key growing offshore wind markets in Asia.
"There is a clear need for Japan to turn to offshore wind to meet an expected shortfall in power generation, and increasing dependence on fossil fuel imports, but setting an ambitious plan and whether it is able to establish appropriate frameworks for planning and licensing will be decisive," said GWEC.