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A 160MW offshore wind plant to be built in Japan in 2024

Out-Law News | 14 Apr 2021 | 1:22 am | 1 min. read

A new offshore wind plant is to be built at Kashima port on Japan’s east coast and generate 159.6 megawatts (MW) of power at full capacity.

The plant will span 680 hectares and its construction work will start from 2024. It is expected to have 19 turbine generators. Once operational, the wind plant is expected to deliver energy for over 70,000 Japanese locals each year.

Japan’s Wind Power Group, Tokyo Gas and Vena Energy, will establish a joint venture to complete the project.

The project is expected to support Japan’s 2050 carbon neutrality strategy. In December last year the Japanese government set targets of installing 10GW of offshore wind power by 2030 and between 30 and 45GW by 2040 as part of plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 – a target that Japan's prime minister Yoshihide Suga announced in October 2020.

I-Ching Tseng of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “While it is encouraging to see countries and private enterprises picking up the pace of transition to renewable energies and for countries to set ambitious goals for net zero emissions, in the haste to develop renewable energy projects, impacts and technical challenges of feeding the energy generated to the grid have not been well discussed.”

“Some of the challenges to the grid include voltage fluctuation – power plants that run on fuel can be ramped up and down depending on demands. They are dispatchable. However, renewable energy plants have to accommodate the weather conditions; grid integration challenges. In addition to generation uncertainty and voltage fluctuation, power system transients and harmonics, reactive power, synchronisation, long transmission lines with power being lost during transmission are challenges that grid operators have to deal with,” she said.

“Grid challenges can also be location specific – wind and sun are stronger in some places than others and are not always in places that have the necessary transmission infrastructure to get the power to where it is needed,” I-Ching said. 

“Nonsynchronous generation is a further issue to manage. Additional capital investment in voltage and frequency control to the grid will be required. Improved planning and coordination are required to provide a more holistic power network of the future,” she said.