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TEPCO and Orsted have agreed to build a new offshore wind farm in the Pacific east of Tokyo to take advantage of new renewable energy goals announced by the Japanese government.

Clean Power

TEPCO & Ørsted Partner To Bring Offshore Wind Power To Japan

TEPCO and Orsted have agreed to build a new offshore wind farm in the Pacific east of Tokyo to take advantage of new renewable energy goals announced by the Japanese government.

A new partnership between Tokyo Electric Power Company and Danish energy company Ørsted has been created to explore “offshore wind business opportunities” in both Japan and overseas according to a joint statement from the two companies on January 18.

Orsted offshore wiind

Credit: Orsted

Last November, TEPCO (owner of the ill-fated nuclear facility at Fukushima) said it was conducting an analysis of the sea floor off the Choshi peninsular east of Tokyo to determine its suitability for an offshore wind farm. That is where the two companies now say they will build their first wind installation together.

“We are confident that the partnership combining TEPCO’s extensive expertise in the Japanese power business and Orsted’s unparalleled track record in the offshore wind business will lead to success in the Choshi project,” Tomoaki Kobayakawa, president of TEPCO, said in a statement on Friday. “We hope that this first step paves the way for expansion beyond the coastlines of Japan for the development, construction, operation and ownership of offshore wind projects.”

While Friday’s news represents Ørsted’s first involvement with the Japanese offshore wind energy sector, the company does have a wider presence in Asia. According to CNBC, it is the co-owner of Formosa 1, the first commercial scale offshore wind project in Taiwan which is currently under development. It also has four offshore wind sites off the coast of Taiwan with a total capacity of around 2,400 megawatts.

“This MOU is the first step in Ørsted and TEPCO’s aspirations to deliver on Japan’s ambitions for domestic renewable power generation at a large scale and contribute to making Japan a leading offshore wind market in the Asia-Pacific,” Henrik Poulsen, Ørsted’s CEO, said Friday. “We welcome this first opportunity to work with TEPCO and look forward to strengthening our relationship further.”

Ørsted is flexing its renewable energy muscles in many parts of the world from Connecticut to Liverpool, where it has just installed its first standalone battery storage facility that will provide grid stabilization services to National Grid in the UK. How fitting that TEPCO should be involved with demonstrating how nuclear energy can go so disastrously wrong and how renewable energy could go spectacularly right.

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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. 3000 years ago, Socrates said, "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." Perhaps it's time we heed his advice.


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