Equinor teams up for offshore wind power 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 energy 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 energy major. 

“We have joined forces with Jera and J-Power, two strong local partners, to participate in Japan’s first offshore wind power 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.

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 energy, 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 turbines. 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 power 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 energy plans,” says Økland.

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.