Japan tests viability of offshore floating wind turbines

A rare type of floating offshore wind turbine is being tested about 1 km off Kabashima, a 9-sq.-km island with some 110 households in Nagasaki Prefecture.

The wind turbine, with a 22-meter propeller arc diameter, generates 100 kwh and has been in operation since August as part of an Environment Ministry test project to develop a low-cost floating wind power plant.

Most wind turbines worldwide extend from pylons buried in the seabed, with just a smattering of the type that float. In the floating type, the pillar is anchored to the bottom and its lower hollow core is filled with seawater to keep it upright, so the pillar is self-righting like a