Fukushima has become synonymous with the nuclear disaster resulting from the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in 2011. But the coastal prefecture may turn that reputation around and become known as home to the world’s largest offshore wind farm instead. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry commissioned an enormous floating wind farm project in an effort to move away from nuclear energy – and the first floating turbine was just installed off the coast of Fukushima.
The 2 MW wind turbine was assembled in Chiba, mounted on a 104-foot submersible steel structure and towed to the Onahama Port in Fukushima. The turbine landed about 12 miles off the Fukushima coast in 400 foot deep waters and is secured to the sea bed with iron chains. By 2020, scores more turbines will be put in place, producing nearly twice as much power as the world’s current biggest offshore wind farm, the London Array in the Thames Estuary.
The nuclear disaster of 2011 brought Japan’s nuclear power industry to a virtual standstill, creating a scarcity of power and forcing the country to rely on imported gas. Now the Fukushima Prefecture is planning to move away from nuclear energy and move towards complete reliance on renewable sources over the next 25 years. Not only will this help with the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, but the hope is that wind power and other renewable energy generation will be more resilient against future earthquakes, tsunamis and typhoons.
Via The Guardian
Photos by Phil Hollman from London, UK (Off-shore Wind Farm Turbine) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commonsand by Barrow_Offshore_wind_turbines.jpg: Andy Dingleyderivative work: Papa Lima Whiskey 2 [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons