Tepco, the operator of the Fukushima power plant, plans to move away from nuclear power and into renewable energy, including floating offshore wind.
According to Nikkei Asian Review, Tepco will pursue renewable energy projects worth tens of billions of dollars in a sharp turn away from nuclear power, an effort that will require it to find partners abroad.
The company first announced a plan to diversify its generating capacity earlier this year, but it was not immediately clear what form that might take.
The company’s president told Nikkei that Tepco aims to develop renewable energy installations in Japan and overseas that produce 6 GW to 7 GW of power.
Renewables accounted for only about 15% of Tepco’s power output in the fiscal year ended March 2017, less than at other Japanese electric companies.
“We must gain competitive advantage in renewable energy,” said Tomoaki Kobayakawa, noting that Tepco will mostly focus on offshore wind power.
“I would like to decide on partners in one year,” said Mr Kobayakawa.
The company is planning to “take up the challenge” of building floating offshore windfarms, he said, because Japan has deep coastal waters.
Nikkei said Tepco’s offshore windfarms will first be built around Japan, such as off Chiba Prefecture, where a demonstration project has launched, and the company will then expand to other parts of Asia and Europe.
The company is in the process of dismantling the Fukushima reactor after the disaster there in 2011, and closed the other nuclear facilities it operated after that event.
Following an earthquake, a tsunami disabled the power supply and cooling for three Fukushima reactors, causing a nuclear accident that saw all three cores melt. Dismantling work has been under way for some time.
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