Recent auctions create opportunities for Norway-Japan offshore wind collaboration

Japan is a strategically important market for Norwegian suppliers and developers.
by Arne Vatnøy
Communication manager

The Japanese government just launched a third major round of auctions to select operators for two new offshore wind power areas. Norwegian Offshore Wind will organize a Visit NOW to Japan April 15-18.

The visit will connect Japanese and Norwegian companies through the strategic partnership between Norwegian Offshore Wind and their Japanese counterpart Japan Wind Power Association (JWPA). 

CEO of Source Galileo Norway, Gunnar Birkeland, is well experienced in the Japanese market. He is now heading up the working group for the Japan in Norwegian Offshore Wind. 

- I see huge potential for Japan - Norway cooperation specifically in future floating wind projects, and I’m looking forward to share network and insight in this market, says Gunnar Birkeland. 


Gunnar Birkeland heads up the working group for Japan.

Strategic meetings during the visit

During the visit in April, the participating companies will be able to meet with industry representatives who are highly influential in the market. The tentative program consists of meetings with Kansai Electric Power Company, Toda corporation, Tokyo Gas and TEPCO Renewable Power. The participants will also meet with Japan Wind Power Association and investors in the Japanese market. 

The aim is to showcase Norwegian technology and solutions that fit the upcoming projects in Japan. 

-Success in the Japanese market depends on a long-term commitment, and this is a market where physical meetings and follow ups is very important. In the working group for Japan, we build on each other’s already established relations, and the participating companies in this visit will benefit from that, says Astrid Green, who is responsible for the Japanese market in Norwegian Offshore Wind. 


Astrid Green in an interview with a Japanese TV-channel.

Auction rounds in 2024

Japan introduced a new law in 2019 to promote the development of wind farms and according to 4C Offshore plans to select operators for up to 10 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind project capacity by 2030 and 30-45 GW by 2040.[MOU1] 

The Japanese government launched a third major round of auctions last week to select operators for two new offshore wind power areas capable of generating 1.05 GW in the northern part of the country. One area is in the southern side of the Japan Sea off Aomori prefecture, near Tsugaru city and the town of Ajigasawa which will have capacity of 600 megawatts. The other will be off the coast of Yamagata prefecture near the town of Yuza and will have capacity of 450 MW. 

Both were selected in October as "promotion areas" to develop offshore wind farms and will be fixed-bottom wind farms. The projects could start by mid-2030. The successful bidders will be allowed to use the sea areas for up to 30 years.

The auction will run to July 19 2024, with the result expected to come in December 2024, according to a statement issued by Japan's land and industry ministries.


Previous auction rounds

In the previous, second round Japan's industry and land ministries picked three consortia. The results of the second major round under a new law to promote wind power were closely watched by energy companies at home and abroad, after the first round was dominated by Mitsubishi Corp. 

The winner of a 315-megawatt (MW) wind farm off the coast of Oga-Katagami-Akita in Akita prefecture in northern Japanwas a consortium of JERA, Electric Power Development, and Tohoku Electric Power.

Another consortium of Mitsui & Co , RWE and Osaka Gas, won a 684 MW wind farm off the coast of Murakami-Tainai in Niigata prefecture in northern Japan.

 A third group of Sumitomo Corp and Tokyo Electric Power's renewable power unit won a 420 MW wind farm off the coast of Enoshima in Nagasaki prefecture in southwestern Japan.

 The three projects are all bottom-fixed type wind farms and scheduled to start operation between June 2028 and August 2029.


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