Equinor said Wednesday it has partnered up with utilities Jera and J-Power to jointly bid in Japan’s planned first offshore wind auction, Kallanish Energy reports.
Together the consortium plans to submit a bid to develop two offshore wind farms as soon as the Japanese government officially launches the tender. The Round 1 auction is expected to open “within the next months,” Equinor said in a statement.
Companies would then have six months to submit their bids and results would be released towards the end of 2021. The bottom-fixed offshore wind farms could potentially be operational post 2025.
According to Equinor, the Japanese government has selected two areas as promotional zones: Yurijonjo and Noshiro, off the Akita prefecture coast, north Japan. The areas are to host a 400-megawatt (MW) and a 700 MW wind farm, respectively.
Renewables currently account for 15-16% of Japan’s energy mix. However, the government aims to increase this share to 22-24% by 2030, targeting 10 gigawatts of capacity, Equinor said.
The “exciting” opportunities are in line with Equinor’s renewables strategy of building scale in core regions to eventually become a “global offshore wind major.”
“The opportunities long-term, are within both bottom fixed and floating offshore wind as waters in Japan are on average deeper than in other parts of the world,” added Jens Økland, senior VP for Business development in New Energy Solutions.
“With Equinor being the leading floating offshore wind developer, we have the competence and technical skill needed and are ready to contribute long term to the country’s ambitious offshore wind plans,” he said.
Jera said in a separate statement its experience and expertise in developing, building and operating offshore wind projects in Taiwan will be beneficial to the consortium.
J-Power is the second largest wind producer in Japan, operating roughly 530 MW of both onshore and offshore capacity. It’s also a partner in the Triton Knoll offshore wind power project in the UK, where it said it’s “accumulating the latest European expertise.”
This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.