Japanese utility JERA opened a new office in the city of Akita, which will serve as a base for offshore wind projects off the coast of Akita Prefecture.
“Because JERA believes that Akita Prefecture, as a first-mover, will become a hub for the accumulation of information and human resources related to the domestic offshore wind industry, it has established the Akita Office to consider the development of offshore wind power projects, to collect information, and to communicate with local communities in the Tohoku region”, the company said in a press release on 1 April.
Japan launched its first-ever auction for fixed-bottom offshore wind projects within the General Common Sea Area in November 2020, with three of the four zones being auctioned located off Akita Prefecture and JERA aiming to participate together with its business partners.
In September 2020, JERA, Electric Power Development (J-Power), and Equinor formed a consortium to work on developing offshore wind projects in Akita Prefecture, and to evaluate and work towards submitting a joint bid in Japan’s first offshore wind auction.
Bids are expected to be submitted this May and, once the auction is closed, the results are expected to be announced by the end of 2021. The projects chosen at the auction would be operative after 2025.
As for JERA’s new office in Akita, it will launch with a small number of employees, but is expected to grow in scale as business develops.