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A consortium of companies, academic institutions and research organizations is planning to develop an experimental offshore floating wind farm sponsored by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The consortium comprises Marubeni Corp., the University of Tokyo, Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, IHI Marine United, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, Nippon Steel, Hitachi, Furukawa Electric, Shimizu and Mizuho Information & Research.

The project will consist of three floating wind turbines and one floating power substation off the coast of Fukushima, Japan. The first stage of the project will begin this year and will consist of one 2 MW floating wind turbine, a 66 kV floating power substation and an undersea cable. The second stage of the project will consist of two 7 MW wind turbines, which will be added between 2013 and 2015.

Through this experimental project, Fukushima Prefecture hopes to develop a large wind farm industry. One of the most important themes of the project is the coexistence of the fishing industry with the offshore wind farm industry. To ensure this happens, the consortium says it will work hard to maintain good relations with the local fishing industry through strong communication while at the same time pursuing the commercialization of the offshore wind project.

The consortium says that creating a practical wind farm business scheme through this experimental project could lead to the deployment of large-scale floating wind farms in the future. Moreover, taking advantage of the experience and knowledge gained through this project, this business could be expanded on a global basis and lead to the development of a new Japanese export industry, the consortium adds.



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