Sunday, 25 August 2013

Floating wind turbine headed for coast off Fukushima Prefecture
28 Jun 2013

A floating wind turbine to be used for power generation off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture was towed out of Tokyo Bay on June 28 bound for a deep-sea site where it will be part of an experimental floating power sub-station.

The turbine was assembled at the Chiba factory of Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Co, in Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture. It will be towed to Onahama Port in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture. The wind turbine, 80 meters in diameter, made by Hitachi Ltd., was mounted on a 32 meter steel submersible structure constructed by Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding.

Named "Fukushima Mirai (future)", the floating wind farm is a project commissioned by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The ministry hopes to provide for the first time a commercial supply of electricity from a floating power station.

After going through adjustment tests in Onahama Port, the structure will be set up about 20 km off Fukushima Prefecture in 120 meter deep waters, secured to the seabed with iron chains. The turbine, with a maximum output of 2 MWs, is expected to start operating in October.

Fukushima Prefecture is home to the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The accident at the plant, following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, helped create a scarcity of power as most of the nation's nuclear reactors were taken offline.