Japan and delivering industrial scale floating offshore wind

The Japanese have a track record for transforming industries. From automotive to consumer electronics, this is where six sigma and lean manufacturing was born to drive process control and accelerate productivity. They have created a legacy where not only have existing industries been re-invented, but new industries have been created along the way.

A resourceful nation in the absence of significant indigenous fossil fuels, resilience and flexibility has been at the heart of their energy ecosystem.

So, it is perhaps little surprise that a nation with limited seabed suitable for fixed bottom wind, the Japanese were one of the earliest adopters of floating offshore wind. Pioneering the industry, 6 x 2MW units were installed as far back as 2011 to learn more about this advancing technology.

Offshore wind power generation is expected to be a major renewable energy source by 2050 in Japan, with the floating wind making a significant contribution to that energy mix. Floating offshore wind is receiving huge interest in Japan due to the limited area of seabed suitable for fixed-bottom wind turbines and the high population density in coastal regions. Japan consumes more than twice the electricity per capita than the UK.

MPS is developing an offshore wind platform solution, called PelaFlex, for industrial-scale applications. The tension-legged platform design delivers a high degree of system stability, minimal seabed footprint, and zero tilt, reducing the wear and tear on the turbine and maximizing energy yields, and is wind turbine technology agnostic. This makes it an excellent choice for Japanese offshore wind farm developers who are looking to deliver rapid industrial-scale deployments in deep water.

The modular nature of MPS’ technology and structurally efficient tetrahedral design means the floating platform has only ten primary steel components and four distinct parts. PelaFlex has been designed to be manufactured and rapidly assembled by the existing supply chain. The platform’s low mass reduces quayside requirements, including load-bearing capacity and storage needs, and the shallow draught system removes the need for expensive dredging. Multiple launch options support a distributed port model for faster industrial-scale deployments and reduced specific port requirements.

MPS and JGC Japan have developed a non-exclusive collaborative working relationship to deliver floating offshore wind platforms at commercial scale. Under this relationship, MPS’ floating wind platform technology, PelaFlex, and JGC Japan’s EPCI services will combine to jointly deliver floating offshore wind projects in Japan and contribute towards the Japanese Government’s ambition to deliver 10GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.

Find out more about our floating offshore wind technology.

We will be heading to Japan for Wind Expo 2023 at Big Sight, Tokyo on March 15th – 17th. If you want to learn more about our flexible floating platform and how it supports rapid industrial-scale deployments, please get in touch or come and find us on stand 39-6 in the UK Pavilion, East Hall.

Full conference programme here.