- Construction of a floating skyscraper wind turbine building, in the largest order in the world, is expected to finish June 22 in Japan's northeastern Fukushima Prefecture. The government-sponsored project, carried out by some of the most famous Japanese companies and universities, is touted as a symbol of the rebuilding of Fukushima, which was destroyed by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis. Turbines will have the largest generating capacity of any offshore windmill in the world.
Onahama Port in Iwaki City, formed the backdrop for the white tower and a large crane was used to build it. The turbine, consisting of three blades, is 82 meters long and a 190 meter tower, built to withstand wind speeds of up to 300kph. Fukushima Offshore Consortium, which built the turbine and will operate it, including trading house Marubeni, equipment maker Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Hitachi technology conglomerate and University of Tokyo.
The consortium received a mandate from the Japanese government to conduct studies on offshore wind power facilities. At the end of 2013, the first test turbine was installed off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture, 20km, with a 2,000kW generating capacity.
The consortium is now carrying out a second turbine test assembly in Onahama, which weighs 1,500 tons, placed on a floating steel platform weighing 5,000 tons. After the construction is balanced, the turbine will be checked and adjusted. It will then be moved offshore, 20 km from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
is designed to produce up to 7,000kW of electricity, making it 3.5 times stronger than the first. This will be the most powerful wind turbine in Japan and the most powerful floating wind turbine in the world. The technical phase of the operations is almost complete. So far, there has been no technical failure with the first turbine. "Japan has lagged behind Europe in developing offshore wind turbines, but with this success, we will be able to jump to the forefront of the world in this area," said Takeshi Ishihara, professor of University of Tokyo and member of the consortium.
The second turbine features state-of-the-art technology. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries introduces oil pressure technology for nacelle turbines. This technology is said to be more resistant to wear caused by harsh conditions at sea. Hitachi has developed an offshore transformer for the project. The electricity produced will be raised to around 66,000 volts and transmitted via underground cables. The idea is to send as much electricity as possible through cables, which have a capacity of around 20,000kW.
Offshore wind power plants in Europe, where most turbines sink to the seabed in shallow water. Europe produces around 8 million kilowatts worth of offshore wind power, about the same as eight nuclear power plants. Some estimates place annual investment in offshore wind power around 2020.
Sea-based wind power offers the advantage of fewer space restrictions and higher wind speeds. This allows for the construction of larger and more efficient turbines. The Fukushima project cost has been around 50 billion yen ($ 401,000,000).
Germany is a global leader in offshore wind power. A joint venture between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Danish wind power company Vestas Wind Systems is No. 2.