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Japanese floating wind project partners begin EIA process

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: Tom Russell 03/02/2023 Tokyo Gas

Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. and Shinobuyama Fukushima Electric Power Co., Ltd. have initiated the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process for a proposed floating offshore wind farm off the east coast of Japan.


Through EIAs, Tokyo Gas and Shinobuyama Fukushima Electric Power Co. will liaise with local fisheries officials, local residents, and relevant local governments.


As of today (3 February 2023) the two companies submitted the EIA method to the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and have started public consultation with relevant local governments. Feedback must be submitted by 20 March 2023.


The project partners seek to deploy floating wind turbines using Principle Power's floating foundations off the Naraha Town and Tomioka Town, Fukushima Prefecture. The project has a maximum capacity of 30 MW.


Principle Power developed the WindFloat semi-submersible floating foundation for wind turbines. It has tallied up six years of operational experience in Portuguese and Scottish sites. Back in 2020, Tokyo Gas made an investment of USD 22 million in the company securing itself as one of the major shareholders.


The WindFloat semi-submersible foundation technology features a platform and three columns which can support offshore wind turbines. Patented water entrapment (heave) plates are fitted at the base of each column. The plates “entrain” water, resulting in a large added-mass component and the sharp edges of the plates increasing the viscous damping due to vortex shedding.
In addition, WindFloat’s patented hull-trim system (also known as active ballast) distributes water ballast between three columns to compensate for variable turbine thrust due to low frequency changes in wind velocity and direction.

Principle Power's technology has previously been used at was implemented in a first of its kind prototype,
WindFloat 1, near Póvoa do Varzim, which was installed back in 2011. The project was a full life cycle demonstration featuring a Vestas V-80 2 MW turbine, and was decommissioned last year.

Towards the end of last 2019, the 25 MW
WindFloat Atlantic project, Europe’s first floating wind farm, was connected to the grid in Portugal. It was recently revealed by the developers that the project produced 78 GWh of electricity in its second year of operation with an annual availability of between 93-94%.

Other projects using WindFloat foundations include the 50 MW
Kincardine Project in Scotland and 30 MW Golfe du Lion project in the south of France.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.

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