Author InfoLink
Updated July 17, 2020

Japan set to kick off auctions for offshore wind projects located in the five zones designated by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) for offshore wind development. 

As part of the Japanese government’s efforts to procure 1 GW offshore wind capacity every year from 2020 onwards, METI has selected ten areas for future offshore wind development so far this year, with four of them being considered the “promising areas.”

Judging from the environmental impact assessment progress of each wind site, Wind InfoLink estimated that over 1.5 GW offshore wind capacity will be auctioned off by the fourth quarter in 2020. Apart from the 22 MW Goto island offshore windfarm that started bidding process in June, around 700 to 840 MW capacity will come from South and North Yurihonjo offshore project, 480 to 540 MW from Noshiro-Mitane-Oga project and 370 MW from Chosi project.

The four “promising zones” include two sites in the Sea of Japan off Aomori prefecture, Happou-Noshiro wind farm off Akita prefecture and Ejima off Nagasaki prefecture. These promising sites are expected to be qualified as promotion zones in 2021. 

Local councils have been formed to consult communities regarding matters related to Happou-Noshiro and Ejima sites. Councils for the two sites in the Sea of Japan off Aomori are also expected to be formed soon. 

In addition, METI has further identified two preparation zones off Hokkaido and Yamagata and adjusted the scope of Katagami project off Akita prefecture. By approving three to four promotion zones annually, METI expects to boost growth in offshore wind capacity over the next decade.