Spanish multinational utility Iberdrola has signed a deal with renewables firm Cosmo Eco Power and engineering company Hitz to develop a 600MW offshore wind energy project in Japan.
Once complete, the Seihoku-oki offshore wind project will enter round 2 of the capacity auction planned by the Japanese government between this year and 2022.
The project is being constructed in the Aomori prefecture, in the northwest of the country.
The agreement to develop the plant falls under efforts by Iberdrola to expand its presence in the Japanese offshore wind market and to increase its portfolio of renewables globally.
The announcement follows Iberdola acquiring Japanese developer Acacia Renewables – which has a 3,300MW offshore wind pipeline in the south of the country.
Acacia Renewables has two offshore wind farms under development, with a combined capacity of 1,200MW, which could be operational by 2028. It also has four other projects in the pipeline, with a total capacity of 2,100MW.
The six projects owned by Acacia Renewables will be developed by Iberdrola together with Macquarie’s Green Investment Group.
By acquiring Acacia Renewables and developing the Seihoku-oki offshore wind project, Iberdrola will be able to compete in the Japanese government renewable auction rounds 2, 3 and 4.
Japan is expected to expand its offshore wind energy capacity to 30-45GW by 2040 from 70MW today, according to the Government-Industry Dialogue Council for Offshore Energy.
Today, Iberdrola has a total offshore wind energy capacity of 1,300MW