Japan builds floating windmills in response to Fukushima

Following the nuclear disaster in 2011, Japan has built a 350-foot-tall floating windmill twelve miles of the coast of Fukushima. It has promised to generate enough electricity to power 1,700 homes. Japan hopes to place 140 wind turbines by 2020 to generate over 1 gigawatt of electricity. That is equivalent to the power generated by a nuclear reactor.

Offshore windmills could be a breakthrough for this energy-poor nation. They would enable Japan to use a resource it possesses in abundance: its coastline, which is longer than that of the United States. With an exclusive economic zone — an area up to 200 miles from its shores where Japan has first dibs on any resources — that ranks it among the world’s top 10 largest maritime countries, Japan has millions of square miles to position windmills.

The Japanese government is paying the 22 billion yen, or $226 million, cost of building the first three wind turbines off Fukushima, part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to make renewable energy a pillar of his economic growth program.

What sets the project apart from other offshore wind farms around the world is that its turbines, and even the substation and electrical transformer equipment, float on giant platforms anchored to the seabed. That technology greatly expands potential locations for offshore wind farms, which have been fixed into the seabed, limiting their location to shallow waters.

Floating wind farms could change the picture in a big way. Harnessing wind in deeper waters off Japan could generate as much as 1,570 gigawatts of electricity, roughly eight times the current capacity of all of Japan’s power companies combined, according to computer simulations based on historical weather data by researchers at Tokyo University, one of the project’s main participants.

For more information about Stanford Magnets: http://www.stanfordmagnets.com/

Based in California, Stanford Magnets has been involved in the R&D and sales of licensed Rare-earth permanent magnets, Neodymium magnets, SmCo magnets, Ceramic magnets, Flexible magnets and magnetic assemblies since the 1980s. We supply all these types of magnets in a wide range of shapes, sizes and grades.

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