French floating offshore wind farm company Ideol has announced a partnership with Macquarie Capital-backed Acacia Renewables to develop Japan’s first utility-scale commercial floating offshore wind farm.
Floating offshore wind farms are steadily becoming a high priority for companies and countries around the world, utilising new technologies which make the idea less of a dream and more of a potential reality.
Floating offshore wind provides several benefits for several different reasons. Countries with a lot of coast but which don’t have the shallow waters necessary for traditional offshore wind turbines would directly benefit by opening up an otherwise locked potential renewable energy source.
Further, coastal regions regardless of their conditions could look to floating wind to access stronger, more consistent offshore winds further away from shore that would otherwise be untenable due to the massive infrastructure and engineering costs associated with erecting a traditional offshore wind turbine.
Statoil, the Norwegian multinational oil and gas company, published figures last year which predicts that the global market for floating offshore wind could reach as much as 12 GW by 2030, up from the single 30MW currently in place at Hywind Scotland.
Specifically, Statoil predicts that Japan could have as much as 3.5 GW worth of floating offshore wind by 2030, followed by France with 2.9 GW, the United States with 2 GW, and the UK and Ireland with 1.9 GW.
One $8 billion project has been mooted for Australia, off the coast of Victoria.
Pilot projects have been built around the world and Japan has sought to capitalise on this new technology and potential renewable energy source.
Several companies are aiming to build the “first commercial Japanese floating offshore wind farm” and a new contender entered the field, with the industry expertise and financial backing to actually make it happen.
Ideal, the French floating offshore wind leader Ideol formed a partnership with Acacia Renewables, a wholly-owned Japanese renewable energy development platform backed by Macquarie Capital, the advisory group of Australian banking giant Macquarie Group.
Ideal and Acacia Renewables signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in March that will see the two work together to develop Japan’s first utility scale commercial floating offshore wind farm.
“We are truly excited about the development of the energy sector and opportunities in delivering large scale offshore projects in Japan,” said David Povall, CEO of Acacia Renewables.
“Bringing into Japan the global renewables capabilities and experience will hopefully deliver a step change in the speed and cost of deployment.”
“We are extremely proud to have a global powerhouse recognize the pertinence of our technology which is particularly compatible with tomorrow’s very large wind turbines and increasingly higher local content expectations,” added Paul de la Guérivière, CEO of Ideol.
“The signing of such agreement clearly demonstrates that after 2 full-scale demonstrators on 2 different continents and a pre-commercial array we are now ready for the next stage: commercial-scale deployment.
Our international and fully integrated team looks forward to taking on this new challenge in close partnership with Acacia’s and Macquarie Capital’s experts.”
Ideol already has a pilot floating offshore project in the works in a partnership with the Japanese industrial and engineering company, Hitachi Zosen Corporation. The 3 MW project is expected to be commissioned this year, but Ideol’s information for the project is sparse.