Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (TEPCO) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Danish energy business Orsted to work together on offshore wind projects.
In an announcement Friday, TEPCO said that it had been "exploring offshore wind business opportunities" in both Japan and overseas. Orsted is a world leader in wind energy and built the world's first offshore wind facility in 1991.
TEPCO said that the two companies would work on the Choshi offshore wind project. In November 2018, TEPCO announced that it had been carrying out a seabed survey to assess the feasibility of the project. They will also work towards what was described as a "strategic partnership for broader collaboration."
"We are confident that the partnership combining TEPCO's extensive expertise in the Japanese power business and Orsted's unparalleled track record in the offshore wind business will lead to success in the Choshi project," Tomoaki Kobayakawa, representative executive officer and president at TEPCO, said in a statement Friday.
"We hope that this first step paves the way for expansion beyond the coastlines of Japan for the development, construction, operation and ownership of offshore wind projects," Kobayakawa added.
While Friday's news represents Orsted's first involvement with the Japanese offshore wind energy sector, the company does have a wider presence in Asia. It is the co-owner of the first commercial scale offshore wind project in Taiwan, Formosa 1, which is under development. The firm also holds four offshore wind sites located off the coast of Taiwan's Changhua County. These can be developed to have a total capacity of around 2,400 megawatts (MW).
Orsted said that the offshore wind market in Japan was "gaining momentum" after the Japanese government had made commitments to "increase the deployment of renewables."
"This MOU is the first step in Orsted and TEPCO's aspirations to deliver on Japan's ambitions for domestic renewable power generation at a large scale and contribute to making Japan a leading offshore wind market in the Asia-Pacific," Henrik Poulsen, Orsted's president and CEO, said Friday. "We welcome this first opportunity to work with TEPCO and look forward to strengthening our relationship further."