The consortium led by the Japan-based utility Kyuden Mirai, has been selected to undertake the development of Japan's largest offshore wind project to date. The project, which holds a total budget of JPY175 billion (US$1.54 billion) is expected to add 229 MW of wind generation to the current wind power portfolio.
The consortium also includes Hokutaku, a company based in Asahikawa, on the northern island of Hokkaido, for taking care of the maintenance in the Hibikinada project and will likely establish an O&M base near the port.
The wind farm would comprise around 44 turbines installed on jacket foundations roughly 10km off the port of Hibikinada, in Kitakyushu’s Wakamatsu Ward. The project will span 2,700 hectares across four adjacent sites sited off the coast of Fukuoka prefecture on the western island of Kyushu. The construction of the Hibikinada wind farm would start in 2022 following an environmental impact assessment expected to take three to four years to complete.
Hitachi's 5.2 MW offshore machine is being tipped by industry sources as a possible turbine supplier for the project. Besides, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Company (NSSMC) will manufacture the jackets, while Penta-Ocean would oversee installation of the turbines. NSSMC will set up a foundation production facility.
The auction for the Hibikinada project is the first public offering of near-shore development rights since the Port and Harbour Law was revised last May. The amendments have given project owners the right to operate wind farms in ports beyond the original occupancy limit of 10 years. The Kitakyushu Seaport and Airport Bureau opened up bidding for the Hibikinada project in August, with an initial plan of at least 50MW.