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Equinor targets Japan’s emerging offshore wind sector

A Hywind turbine being towed to location.
Photo by Equinor.
A Hywind turbine being towed to location. Photo by Equinor.

Equinor has teamed up with two of Japan’s leading energy firms as it looks to make inroads into the East Asian country’s expanding renewables sector.

The Norwegian energy giant, which has a regional base in Aberdeen, will work with Jera and J-Power towards submitting a joint bid once the Japanese government opens what will be its first offshore wind auction.

The partnership forms part of Equinor’s plans to become a major player in offshore wind by developing renewables growth in selected markets.

The Japanese Government’s Round One auction will cover the Yurihonjo and Noshiro areas off the coast of the Akita district in the north-west of the country.

The zones have the potential to house bottom-fixed offshore wind farms of around 400MW and 700MW respectively.

The auction is due to get underway in the coming months, with bid submissions taking place six months after it opens.

The results are expected to be announced towards the end of next year, paving the way for wind farms to be operational post 2025.

Jens Økland, senior vice president for business development in new energy solutions at Equinor, said: “We have joined forces with Jera and J-Power, two strong local partners, to participate in Japan’s first offshore wind auction and develop what could potentially be Equinor’s first offshore wind farm in Japan.”

“Japan has a high potential to develop a market for offshore wind. Their ambitions to increase their renewable energy sources from today’s 15-16% to about 22-24 % by 2030 hereunder a target of 10 GW wind capacity to meet their climate change commitments and become more energy independent, present exciting opportunities.

He added: “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. 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.”

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