The latest development in what is perhaps the most ambitious offshore wind project to date follows the completion and testing of a Hitachi-made 2MW downwind turbine and the world's first 66kV floating sub-station manufactured by Mitsui Shipbuilding and Engineering.
Takeshi Ishihara, a professor in the department of civil engineering at the University of Tokyo and technical adviser to the project, said the project was commissioned on 30 October, with load tests carried out on 4 November.
The project now enters the substantive experimental portion of first-stage activities, which includes the collection and analysis of meteorological and oceanographic data, along with operational data.
In addition to helping assess the safety, reliability and economic performance of floating offshore wind power, the tests are expected to lead to the establishment of operational and maintenance techniques that will be useful in future projects.
The second stage will follow in 2014 and 2015, when two Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 7MW offshore floating turbines will be installed, increasing overall capacity to 16MW.
"Representative Japanese companies have combined their strengths and overcome numerous difficulties," Ishihara said. "By achieving the installation of the demonstration facilities we have made it possible to take the first step in the recovery of Fukushima."