SSE Renewables has allied with one of Japan’s biggest wind power developers, to pursue offshore projects around the nation’s islands.
The Perth-based generator-developer today said it has committed sums ultimately peaking at £153 million, or $280 million, for an 80% stake in a partnership company to be set up with Pacifico Energy. Around £22 million of the sum depends on the alliance’s performance.
Japan is targeting 10 GW of offshore wind by 2030, and up to 45 GW by 2040, as the country seeks to decarbonise and achieve greater energy independence. The nation’s nuclear output has dropped by 75% since the 2011 Fukushima catastrophe.
Tokyo is backing its wind targets with periodic auctions, designed to inject certainty into wholesale power prices.
SSE Renewables says it is building more offshore farms than any other constructor in the world. Committed to 7 GW of upcoming British and Irish projects, the Perth-based firm is those nations’ largest aspirant turbine operator.
After 2025, it intends adding at least 1 GW of generation assets each year, en route to annual output from renewables of 30 TWh a year by 2030. The firm is confident it can beat its own targets.
Today’s deal announced to the London Stock Exchange brings shared ownership of several early-stage offshore projects in Japan, totalling ‘multiple’ GWs. Two already have grid access. Both fixed and floating turbines are contemplated. Up to 20 Japanese staff will join the planning team.
Japan now joins Spain, Portugal, Denmark and Poland as markets where SSE Renewables is pursuing offshore projects. Today’s acquisition, it believes, may open doors to the East Asian market, where up to 140 GW of new offshore turbines are expected to be spinning by 2050.
SSE Renewables’ managing director Jim Smith said: “Today is an exciting next step for us as we enter Japan which has huge ambitions for offshore wind deployment”.
“In Pacifico Energy we have found a fantastic local partner with hugely complementary local capabilities, experience and insights. These can help bring our expertise in developing, building and operating offshore wind to Japan. We want to help realise Japan’s renewables ambitions and be a significant part of their offshore wind plans during the decades ahead”.
Macquarie offshoot Green Investment Group and local developer RIDG are the French giant’s partners. Development pacts have been signed with EMEC, the Orkney-based maritime renewable centre, and Orkney and Scrabster harbours.
Crown Estates Scotland anticipates announcing in December its winners in the 10 GW ScotWind round.