The first turbine of what is intended to be the biggest floating wind farm in the world went operational todayJapanese floating wind turbine in waters off Japan.

The 2 MW downwind-type turbine started up along with a 66kV floating sub-station and an extra-high voltage undersea cable.

The turbine is part of a project being run by a consortium that includes Japan’s biggest names in energy – Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan Marine United, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation and Hitachi.

They want to create the floating wind farm as a way to kickstart Japan’s offshore wind industry and create a renewables technology industry with expertise that can be exported globally.

The consortium – which also includes Marubeni, the University of Tokyo and Furukawa Electric – will use the 2 MW turbine to evaluate “the safety, reliability and economic potential of the offshore floating wind farm” by collecting meteorological, hydrographic and performance data.

A second phase of the experimental study next year will see the installation of a 7 MW oil pressure drive-type floating wind turbine.

Once all turbines are installed, the capacity of the wind farm is expected to be 16 MW.