GE Vernova announced it will supply the turbines for an onshore wind farm being developed in Japan, an energy project that is part of the effort to support industry in the area impacted by the Fukushima disaster in 2011.
GE Vernova’s Onshore Wind business on Jan. 31 said that Abukuma South Wind Power LLC selected the company’s 3.2-103 turbine to power the 90-MW Abukuma South Wind Farm, which will be among the largest onshore wind power projects in the country to date. The installation is being developed in the area of Iwaki-city and Hirono-town in Fukushima Prefecture.
Abukuma South Wind Power said it signed a supply agreement with Kandenko, the lead contractor for the project, for 28 of the GE turbines. The Abukuma group also signed a long-term, full-service contract with GE Vernova for the installation.
GE Vernova on Wednesday said the company’s 3.2-103 onshore wind turbines “are optimized to minimize environmental impact and cope with extreme weather conditions as well as Japan’s unique wind environment.”
Steve Swift, chief commercial officer for GE Vernova’s Onshore Wind business, said, “We appreciate the confidence that Cosmo Eco Power has shown in our 3-MW class turbine line and value the continued opportunity to advance the government’s renewable energy goals with wind power. Projects like this illustrate how GE Vernova, together with our customers, is working to electrify the world while we simultaneously decarbonize it.”
The project will be operated by Cosmo Eco Power, the first Japanese-based group focused solely on wind energy. Abukuma is GE Vernova’s second project with Cosmo Eco Power in Japan. Cosmo, along with Japanese companies Nemoto Tsusho, Maruto, and Tohoku Electric Power, are supporting the project through shareholder agreements with Abukuma South Wind Power.
The new wind farm is part of the strategy to support Fukushima’s goal, set in 2021, to have 100% of the prefecture’s energy supplied by renewable resources by 2040.
GE in an emailed statement to POWER said, “Japan is an important country for GE Vernova’s onshore wind business. Our technology is well-suited to meet the demands of the Japanese market, including the ability to minimize environmental disruptions, cope with extreme weather conditions, and leverage Japan’s unique wind environment. Deals like this show that our customers are responding positively to our products that work to address Japan’s renewable energy goals.”
Renewable Energy Targets
The Abukuma project also is part of the Japanese government’s plan to increase the level of renewable energy in the country’s electricity mix to at least 38% by 2030. Government data shows Japan has about 5 GW of installed wind power capacity, nearly all of it onshore, although there are plans for a significant increase in both onshore and offshore wind power, with several large projects in the permitting and planning stages. The Japan Wind Power Association last year said it wants to have at least 140 GW of wind power generation capacity installed by 2050.
“This [Abukuma] project was planned to support the introduction of renewable energy, as one of the priority areas of the national project to rebuild the country following the Great East Japan Earthquake and the tsunami that occurred in 2011 with a goal to build a new industrial base,” said Sayuri Hashikawa, director and executive officer for Cosmo Eco Power’s Business Development. “In implementing this project, we aim to coexist and prosper with the local community and key stakeholders, including GE Vernova, by cooperating with local businesses in construction, operation and maintenance.”
—Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).