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Japan will build the world's largest floating wind turbine with a blade span of 200 meters.

Published: 2022-11-27

Japanese energy company Toda and specialists from Osaka University will develop the project of the world's largest floating wind turbine, according to Nikkei Asia. Engineers are going to build a prototype turbine capable of generating up to 15 MW of electricity. The experiment will be carried out in several stages. The final one is scheduled to start in 2025.

In 2023, the research team will develop a large capacity floating turbine project. The group consists of 10 engineers from Toda and Osaka University, specializing in offshore wind turbines and offshore technology. The key task of this phase of work will be to develop computer models to analyze the risks and loads on a floating platform, as well as to analyze issues related to the mass production of such installations and the transmission of electricity.

In 2024, engineers will build a floating turbine demonstration plant capable of generating 10 MW of electricity. And in 2025, it is planned to build a wind turbine with a blade span of about 200 meters, which is three times more than current similar generating plants. According to preliminary forecasts, such a turbine will be able to generate 12-15 MW of electricity.

Compared to stationary wind turbines that are installed on the surface of the seabed, floating turbines are more expensive to install and maintain. This factor prevents their large-scale deployment even in Europe, where offshore wind energy has developed significantly in recent years. However, the absence of shallow seas around Japan makes the project of floating wind turbines more attractive. According to experts, the deployment potential of floating turbines in Japan is three times higher in terms of water area than fixed offshore installations.

A consortium of companies led by Toda is operating the first commercial floating turbine off the coast of Nagasaki Prefecture. The cost of one kilowatt of electricity produced by a 2 MW plant is 36 yen (about $0.26). To reduce the cost of generating electricity below 10 yen per kilowatt-hour and make wind turbines competitive with thermal power plants, it is necessary to significantly increase the capacity of offshore turbines.