Japan's floating wind farms

By Sophie Barclay

Clean technology: Following the March 2011 nuclear disaster in Japan's Fukushima prefecture, the country is turning its focus toward wind power.

The first of several floating wind turbines will be installed off the coast of Fukushima, ready for electricity generation in October. Commissioned by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry the wind farm is a collaboration between ten private sector participants and the University of Tokyo.

The 30-storey high, two megawatt turbine was towed into place by a convoy of boats and will be secured to the sea bed by iron chains.

A spokesperson from the Department of Energy has said that the wind farm will be a symbol of Fukushima's recovery. He said it represented a move away from nuclear power, which has been on the decline since the Fukushima disaster.

The Department also hope that wind power will prove to be more resilient in the face of natural disasters such as earthquakes, storms and tsunamis whilst providing employment opportunities to revitalise the region.

The wind turbine, which can generate around 2,000 kilowatts (enough to power around 600 Japanese homes) will be joined by two larger seven megawatt turbines over the next two years.

Floating wind turbines have already been deployed in places such as Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States, but represent relatively new technology.

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