According to a recent statement, Marubeni Corporation, has decided to implement the construction; operation and maintenance of the offshore wind farms at Akita Port and Noshiro Port in Akita Prefecture, through the special purpose company “Akita Offshore Wind Corporation” (AOW) established in April 2016 and together with other Joint Business Partners.
It is said that the Offshore Wind Farms are comprised of the bottom fixed offshore wind farm and the onshore substation and transmission lines and are expected to be the first large-scale offshore wind power project in Japan established on a commercial basis.
The Offshore Wind Farm Project is a project to construct; operate and maintain the offshore wind farms with approximately 140MW in total electric power to be sold to Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc. for 20 years under a power purchase agreement based on the feed-in tariff program.
The construction of the onshore substations and transmission lines are expected to start in February 2020 and the commercial operations are expected to start in 2022. During operation, Noshiro Port will be the base port for operations and maintenance.
Marubeni participated in Akita Prefecture’s “Public Offering for the Offshore Wind Farm Project” for the purpose of expanding the introduction of renewable energy and industrial development and was selected as the potential main owner and operator on February 5, 2015.
Marubeni then established the AOW in which the Joint Business Partners have also decided to invest, carried out a feasibility study and reached a decision to implement the Offshore Wind Farm Project.
Joint Business Partners include OBAYASHI CORPORATION, Tohoku Sustainable & Renewable Energy Co.Inc., Cosmo Eco Power Co., Ltd., The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc., Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc., The Akita Bank, Ltd., Ohmori Co., Ltd., Sawakigumi Corporation, Kyowa Oil Co., Ltd., Katokensetsu.Co.Ltd, Kanpu Co., Ltd. and Sankyo Co., Ltd.
The Loan consists of project finance provided by multiple domestic and foreign financial institutions with MUFG Bank, Ltd., Mizuho Bank, Ltd. and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation jointly acting as the joint mandated lead arrangers.
What is more, as part of the activities for enhancing sustainability, Marubeni issued the Notification Regarding Business Policies Pertaining to Sustainability in Relation to Coal-Fired Power Generation Business and Renewable Energy Generation Business in September, 2018 for the purpose of contributing to solving the global climate change and will continue to expand its business activities in the renewable energy power sector throughout the world.
In June 2019, it was said that offshore renewables in Japan were set to receive an important boost after the country passed a bill in 2018, which enabled wind farms to operate inside national territorial waters for the next 30 years.
In July, Shizen Energy, Japanese solar power company signed an agreement with Ideol, a French wind developer, collaborating on a full size floating wind farm off the coast of Japan. This partnership coincided with senior recruitments to shore up its local sales and engineering subsidiary.
Later in July, Japan has designated eleven potential areas as suitable for the development of offshore wind farms. The areas have been identified jointly by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), and the Port Authority of Japan.
Specifically, four areas of the areas are located off the Akita prefecture and are
- Noshiro (Mitane and Oga);
- Yurihonjo (north and south);
- Happou and Noshiro;