Engaging in Research and Development on Technologies to Lower the Cost of Floating Offshore Wind Turbines
September 3, 2020
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.
We hereby announce that Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as, TEPCO) has applied to and been selected by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) to participate in its Research and Development on Technologies to Lower the Cost of Floating Offshore Wind Turbines project*1.
An important policy of the Japanese government’s 5th Strategic Energy Plan, which was approved by the cabinet in 2018, is to look at initiatives aimed at transforming renewable energy sources into primary and reliable sources of power. It is therefore predicted that going forward we will see quick development of offshore wind turbine construction plans throughout the country. Out of all the types of offshore wind turbines, there is a higher potential for the use of floating offshore wind turbines in offshore areas with good wind conditions compared to bottom-mounted offshore wind turbines, so increased employment of this type of wind turbine is expected in the future. However, due to Japan’s harsh weather and ocean conditions, we must further reduce the cost of wind power generation through the development of technologies that focus on establishing highly reliable and low-cost methods for constructing floating columns and offshore wind turbines in order to take full advantage of this renewable energy.
That is why TEPCO will examine the basic design and construction methods for floating spar turbines*2 that can accommodate 10MW turbines in preparation for the introduction of floating offshore wind turbines, and have identified technologies that are expected to greatly reduce the costs associated with wind power production.
Over the next two years until March 2022, we will work in cooperation with PENTA-OCEAN CONSTRUCTION CO., LTD. and The University of Tokyo, both of which have a plethora of knowledge and experience related to the design and construction of offshore wind turbines, to examine and assess the feasibility of the technologies we have identified and the cost reductions they will enable.
TEPCO shall continue to fulfill its responsibility to provide a stable supply of electricity, and through this project, promote the use of renewable energies as primary energy sources by examining and researching such as technologies for reducing the costs associated with floating offshore wind turbines.
*1: New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) website (Japanese only)
*2: A spar is a floating column on which waves have little impact due to the small surface area of water through which they protrude.
<Concept diagram of a floating offshore wind turbine>