Japan’s floating wind turbine off the coast of Fukushima has begun to produce clean, renewable energy for the national grid. The project, a collaboration between the Japanese government and Marubeni Corp, was created to transform the nuclear disaster site into a positive symbol of the future of green energy. The two megawatt Hitachi turbine is the first of several planned for the site, and it has been nicknamed Fukushima Mira.
Officially known as the Fukushima Kizuna, the renewable energy station floats offshore to harness the power of the wind and transfer it back to the grid, replacing some of the energy generated by the Fukushima Power plant just two and a half years prior. The single wind turbine will soon be joined by two more funded by the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.
These new turbines will each have a 7 megawatt capacity, which will be diverted directly to the grid. Eventually, the floating wind farm is expected to produce up to 1,000 megawatts, but first local authorities will seek the permission of local fisherman to interfere on their waters. The project team will also study meteorological data, hydrographic data and performance data before installing new wind turbines on unchartered waters.
Successful offshore wind farms could transform Japan’s future, providing sustainable, clean energy for its future without usurping precious land. The trade ministry has already allocated $222 million to invest in wind energy over the next five years in the Fukushima area.