Equinor teams up for offshore wind growth in Japan
Equinor, Jera and J-Power partner up and enter a joint bid agreement prior to Japan’s upcoming Round 1 offshore wind auction.
The three companies will jointly evaluate and work towards submitting a joint bid in the Round 1 auction once the Japanese government officially opens what will be country’s first offshore wind auction.
Establishing this consortium is in line with Equinor’s renewable strategy of building scale in core regions and develop growth options in selected markets to become a global offshore wind major.
“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”, says Senior vice president for Business development in New Energy Solutions in Equinor, Jens Økland.
The Japanese Government has dedicated Yurihonjo and Noshiro, two areas offshore the northern Japanese prefecture of Akita, as promotional zones for offshore wind, each representing an area for bottom-fixed offshore wind farms of approximately 400 MW and 700 MW respectively. The upcoming auction is anticipated to start within the next months, with bid submission taking place six months after the auction opens. Once the auction is closed, the results are expected to be announced towards the end of 2021. Potential wind farms would then tentatively be operative post 2025.
“Japan has a high potential to develop a market for offshore wind. Their ambitions to increase their renewable energy sources from today’s 15-16% to about 22-24 % by 2030 hereunder a target of 10 GW wind capacity to meet their climate change commitments and become more energy independent, present exciting opportunities. The opportunities long-term, are within both bottom fixed and floating offshore wind as waters in Japan are on average deeper than in other parts of the world. With Equinor being the leading floating offshore wind developer, we have the competence and technical skill needed and are ready to contribute long term to the country’s ambitious offshore wind plans,” says Økland.
Equinor is the world’s leading floating offshore wind developer and has a firm ambition of becoming a global offshore wind major. Building on 40 years of offshore experience within oil and gas and with activities in more than 30 countries, Equinor’s renewable strategy is to build scale in core regions and develop growth options in selected markets. Today the company has significant offshore wind positions in the UK, the US North East and in the Baltic Sea. Equinor believes Japan is a growth market with high potential for both bottom fixed and floating offshore wind. The company has been present in the country since 2018 and has an office in Tokyo.
Established in 2015, JERA is an equal joint venture of two major Japanese electric companies, TEPCO Fuel & Power Incorporated and Chubu Electric Power Company. JERA is an energy company with global reach that has strength in the entire energy supply chain, from participation in LNG upstream projects and fuel procurement, through fuel transportation to power generation. JERA’s mission is to provide cutting edge solutions to the world’s energy issues, by offering energy supply models established in Japan through JERA’s global operations to other countries. Towards 2025, JERA’s energy solutions focus mainly on two businesses: the LNG value chain business and the large-scale renewable energy business centered on offshore wind power generation. These businesses are complementary; renewable energy with variable power generation output is complemented by flexible, clean LNG thermal power generation. With demand expected to grow globally, particularly in Asia, JERA aims to become a leader in these two businesses.
J-Power is a Japanese electric utility company established in 1952 and the second largest wind power producer in Japan with approx. 530MW of net wind power generation capacity. The company is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and currently operates onshore wind farms in Japan. J-Power has also been taking part in Hibikinada offshore wind power project in Japan and the Triton Knoll offshore wind power project in the UK.