SSE Japan to develop 6GW of offshore wind farms, boss says

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British energy company SSE’s joint venture (JV) Japanese unit, SSE Pacifico, plans to build 6GW of offshore wind capacity in Japan as the country looks to boost output of the renewable energy source.

Japan is looking to become a global wind power major and offshore wind is a key pillar of its domestic decarbonisation plans. Its government currently has a target to develop 10GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 and 45GW by 2040.

“Our official target is to deliver our projects in a pipeline of 6GW,” SSE Pacifico president Dai Karasawa told Reuters in an interview, although he didn’t give any specific timelines or disclose costs.

“My target is to bring one project per year to be auctioned [via state auctions]… from the later half of this decade,” he said.

SSE Pacifico was established as a JV in 2021. SSE Renewables holds an 80% stake and Pacifico Energy, a local energy developer that has produced 1.3GW of solar power since 2012, owns the remaining 20%.

The JV’s current pipeline includes a 500MW project off the coast of Mihama in Wakayama prefecture and another 500MW project off Omaezaki in Shizuoka prefecture.

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“Since we have been talking with the local stakeholders and we know the site, we have a good probability of being awarded [projects] once these sites are designated as auction areas from the latter half of this decade,” Karasawa said.

He believes his company provides a powerful combination as Pacifico Energy can manage the local stakeholders while SSE can contribute to engineering and procurement. “We are open to talk with any potential partners if we can establish partnerships with efficient split roles.”

About half of the targeted 6GW will be fixed-bottom offshore turbines and the other half will be floating, he added.

Last year, the country’s total installed wind capacity hit 5.2GW after it installed an additional 572MW, with up to 158 new turbines connected to the grid, but the majority comprised onshore wind. Japan currently has just 500MW of offshore capacity.

The government plans to subject approximately 1GW of offshore wind projects to state auctions annually until 2030. Development of the budding industry has been delayed so far as auction rules wait for reforms, triggered by criticism over a lack of clarity in the first round last year.



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