Japan's latest giant floating turbine sets sail

Giant 5MW Hitachi turbine becomes third floating turbine to be deployed as part of Fukushima FORWARD project

One of the world's largest floating offshore wind turbines set sail earlier this week from Osaka Bay in Japan and is currently on its way to a site off the coast of Fukushima.

The giant 5MW turbine has been developed by engineering giant Hitachi and designed by Japan Marine United Corp, according to the Japanese Wind Power Association.

It is the third floating wind turbine to be installed as part of the FukushimaFORWARD initiative and is due to be installed at a site 20km off the Fukushima coast later this week. The machine is then expected to begin generating power before the end of this year.

The project is being backed by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which according to local media reports said the 5MW system was the second largest floating wind turbine to ever be installed, following an earlier 7MW system that has already been installed at the site.

Each of the blades are 62 metres long, with the whole turbine standing 150 metres above the waves at its highest point.

The launch is the latest development in the race to deliver the world's first large-scale floating wind farm. Projects are underway in Scotland and Denmark, as well as Japan, with advocates of the approach arguing that floating turbines could curb the cost of offshore wind power by avoiding the need for foundations and making it easier for turbines to access deepwater sites boasting powerful and reliable winds.

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