Japan released in premiere a floating offshore wind turbine on Monday, which is anchored around 21 kilometers away from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. The energy industry officials hope the new turbine will help reduce Japan’s dependence on nuclear energy.
Japan’s first platform of this kind is anchored to the seabed around 122 meters below the surface.
Electricity generated by the new 2,000-kilowatt wind turbine is relayed at the adjacent floating substation to an underwater cable and distributed to about 600 households by Tohoku Electric Power Co., according to the international press.
The project’s investors, who make a public-private partnership including the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, the University of Tokyo and 10 major industrial enterprises, are planning to add two more floating turbines in 2014 with 7,000-kilowatt capacity each.
Japan has shut down or made inoperable all its 50 nuclear reactors after a disastrous earthquake and tsunami hit the four-reactor Fukushima complex in March 2011. Japanese oppose to start using again nuclear energy.
Local officials at Monday’s ceremonial launch of the floating turbine project said it represented an opportunity for nuclear industry workers in the region to find new careers in renewables.
“Fukushima is making a stride toward the future step by step,” Fukushima prefecture Gov. Yuhei Sato told industry and political leaders gathered for an opening ceremony in the port of Iwaki. “Floating offshore wind is a symbol of such a future.”