Norwegian state energy firm, Equinor, has teamed up with Japanese electricity companies, Jera and J-Power, in preparation to submit a joint bid in the first round of the country’s offshore wind auction. The move reflects Equinor’s strategy of building scale in core regions to become a major offshore wind developer.
The company’s Jens Økland, senior vice president for Business Development in New Energy Solutions, explained: “We have joined forces with Jera and J-Power, two strong local partners, to participate in Japan’s first offshore wind auction and develop what could potentially be Equinor’s first offshore wind farm in Japan.”
Japan’s first round will focus on two areas off the coast of Japan’s northern prefecture, Akita. The offshore regions, Yurihonjo and Noshiro, are likely to have bottom-fixed wind farms with capacities of about 400 MW and 700 MW respectively. Bids are likely to be submitted during the first half of 2021, with results announced towards the end of the year.
The wind farms could be operating by the middle of the decade. In the longer term, Japan’s deeper-than-average waters offer potential for both fixed and floating structures, technologies in which Equinor has much experience. “We have the competence and technical skill needed and are ready to contribute long-term to the country’s ambitious offshore wind plans,” Økland said.