Iberdrola has increased its presence in the Japanese offshore wind market with a new 600 MW project following an agreement with local developer Cosmo Eco Power, a subsidiary of Cosmo Energy Holdings Co. Ltd., and Hitz, an engineering firm, to jointly develop the Seihoku-oki project in Aomori prefecture off Japan’s northwest coast.
The Seihoku-oki offshore wind farm, currently under development, will enter round 2 of the capacity auction planned by the Japanese government between this year and 2022. Following the transaction – subject to the usual regulatory approvals – the project will be led by Iberdrola and Cosmo Eco Power, with similar voting rights, together with Hitz.
The deal takes place six months after the acquisition of Acacia Renewables – which has a 3,300 MW offshore wind pipeline in the south of the country. It is the company’s sixth offshore wind agreement since early 2020.
Acacia Renewables has two offshore wind farms under development – with a combined capacity of 1,200 MW – which could be operational by 2028. It also has four other projects in the pipeline, with a total capacity of 2,100 MW. These six projects will be developed by Iberdrola together with Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG).
With these operations the company will be able to compete in rounds 2, 3 and 4 – the last two scheduled for 2023 and 2024 – of the capacity auctions announced by the Japanese government, positioning itself in the initial development stages of a market with great growth potential.
Japan’s installed offshore wind capacity currently stands at around 70 MW but is set on a strategy to decarbonize its energy mix and promote energy independence. The market is scheduled to reach 30,000-45,000 MW of offshore wind installed by 2040.
Both operations provide Iberdrola with an experienced team of market experts and renewable asset developers, as well as offices in Japan which will enable Iberdrola to lead on its own the development of new projects in the country.