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Sunday, March 3, 2013

The World's Largest Offshore Wind Farm

The tragedy of Daiichi nuclear reactors leak at Fukushima caused by tsunami waves in 2011, was an important lesson for Japan. Do not want to repeat the mistake, now the Japanese government has chosen to replace nuclear energy with wind power.

Japan plans to build the world's largest offshore wind farm. To that end, the The Japanese government plans to build 143 wind turbines offshore, producing a gigawatt of power, or about 21 percent of the total energy that was produced from the now-defunct nuclear power plant.

The offshore turbines is later expected to produce twice the power of the largest offshore wind farm in the world today, the Greater Gabbard wind farm near Suffolk, UK, which produces 504 megawatts with 140 turbines. It’s enough energy to power nearly a million homes.
Japan’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy has announced plans to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm near Fukushima as part of plans to reconstruct the area stricken by nuclear disaster in 2011. (Picture from: http://news.discovery.com/)
As quoted from Discovery News, Each 2-megawatt turnines that have 656 feet (199.95 meter) high will be built on buoyant steel frames stabilized with ballast and anchored to the continental shelf surrounding the Japanese coast. The ballast or counterweight tool will make these turbines stay upright.

According to Project manager Takeshi Ishihara from the University of Tokyo that told New Scientist magazine, the wind farm will be designed with major earthquakes and tsunamis in mind. Wind farms actually have a good record when it comes to tsunamis — the Kamisu wind farm survived the earthquake relatively unscathed. He added that it should have little effect on the local fishing industry — if anything it could even be beneficial. Early computer simulations have shown that the turbines would be safe in extreme weather conditions. "This project is important – I think it is impossible to use nuclear power in Fukushima again," Ishihara added .

Much of the transmission infrastructure for delivering electricity to customers is already at the site, where the nuclear plant was located, although an underwater cable will have to be built to transmit the offshore wind power to onshore electrical lines. The project should be done by 2020.

The biggest snag will be funding the project — it’s not clear that it will get all the money it needs to be built. Even so, there are plans for a large solar park in the prefecture as well, and the country as a whole has put $16.3 billion into renewable energy projects in 2012 alone, according to the Financial Times. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | INHABITAT | DISCOVERY NEWS | RIF | PIKIRAN RAKYAT 14022013]
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