Fukushima Recovery, Experimental Offshore Floating Wind Farm Project (Credit: University of Tokyo)
Japan recently announced a ambitious plan to replace all its nuclear reactors with renewable energy sources and is planning to erect the largest wind farm in the world 10 miles off the coast Fukushima – the site of the 2011 nuclear disaster.
Following the Fukushima nuclear incident which took place immediately after the earthquake and tsunami which struck Japan in early 2011, the Japanese government decided to take drastic measures to create a safe, sustainable, green power source that can replace the entire country’s 54 nuclear reactors within a few decades.
The newly announced plan calls for the creation of a gigantic wind farm with 143 massive turbines capable of generating 1 gigawatt of power once completed (around 2020). The project which should begin soon will start with the construction of the first 2-megawatt giant wind turbine (more than 650 feet tall) as well as supporting infrastructure to transmit the energy collected by the turbine (and the ones following it) to shore using an undersea cable.
The newly announced Fukushima wind farm will not have its 142 turbines anchored directly to the ocean floor, instead the plan calls for a floating steel frame that will be anchored to the continental shelf below. The Japanese plan will also use ballast filled with water to will be used underneath the structure to keep it upright. The reason Fukushima was chosen for this project has to do with the existing electrical infrastructure which already exist in the area because of the nuclear power plants.
The Project manager for the future Fukushima wind farm Takeshi Ishihara of the University of Tokyo claims that despite the area being seismically activate, it won’t be an issue for the future turbines and that his team had carried out extensive computer simulations as well as water tank tests to make sure the safety of the turbines will not be compromised even in the event of a major earthquake, tsunami or typhoon.
More information can be found on the University of Tokyo website as well as the following PDF.
TFOT has covered many other wind turbine projects including the British London Array offshore wind farm which started producing electricity last October and now has all its 175 turbines installed which should soon feliver hundreds of megawatts of power to the U.K. We also covered the StatoilHydro Hywind, and the deep water offshore wind turbines developed by Blue H Technologies as well as numerous stories related to alternative energy, including the story on the technology of the capturing solar energy using a flexible-nanoantenna.
Video talking about the efforts to reconstruct and rebuild Fukushima as well as the wind farm project
Iddo has a B.A. in Philosophy and Cognitive Science and an M.A. in Philosophy of Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is currently writing his Ph.D. thesis on the relationship between the scientific community and industry. Iddo was awarded the 2006 Bar Hillel philosophy of science prize for his work on the relationship between science and technology. He is a member of the board of the lifeboat foundation and was the editor of several high-profile science and technology websites since 1999.