Equinor in Japanese Offshore Auction Bid

(Asia-Europe) Consortium with Jera and J-Power

Norwegian energy firm Equinor has launched a consortium to bid in forthcoming offshore wind power auctions in Japan.

Comprising Equinor, Jera and J-Power, the consortium will evaluate several new project sites in the Akita prefecture of Honshu, Japan.

“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,” said Jens Økland, senior vice president for business development in new energy solutions at Equinor.

First Offshore Wind Auctions

The Japanese government has doubled down on plans to increase offshore wind development in recent months, designating 10 additional areas for future construction and considering a dramatic increase in its target for installed capacity.

In July, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism announced the launch of auctions for four offshore wind sites: Noshiro,Yurihonjo North, Yurihonjo South in Akita Prefecture and Choshi, in Tokyo prefecture.

The three companies will sublimit a joint bid in first round of the country’s offshore wind auctions, expected to be held later this year.

10GW Target

At present, the government has a firm target of only 820 megawatts by 2030. However, lobbying by the Japan Wind Power Association has gained traction, with revised plans calling for as much as 10 gigawatts by 2030.

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

In June, the government opened the tender for the Goto offshore wind farm, the first project to take place under Japan’s new offshore wind promotion law.
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