Oil giant Equinor has entered into a partnership with two Japanese partners, Jera and J-Power, prior to Japan’s upcoming Round 1 offshore wind auction. The three companies are entering into a joint bid agreement to evaluate and submit a joint bid in the upcoming offshore wind auctions in Japan. This will be the country’s first offshore wind auction.

Two areas offshore the northern Japanese prefecture of Akita have been identified by the Japanese government as promotional zones for bottom-fixed offshore wind farms. The proposed capacities to be set up in these areas are 400 MW in Yurihonjo and 700 MW in Noshiro. The auction is proposed to start within the coming months and submission of bids will take after 6 months of the opening of the auction. Results are expected to be announced by the end of 2021 so that winning bidders can start constructing and make their projects operational by 2025.

Equinor has significant presence in the offshore wind market in the UK, the US North East and in the Baltic Sea and the company now plans to scale up its offshore portfolio in other regions as well so as to become a global offshore wind major. Meanwhile, its partner JERA is an equal joint venture of two major Japanese electric companies, TEPCO Fuel & Power Incorporated and Chubu Electric Power Company and J-Power is a Japanese electric utility company with about 530 MW of net wind power generation capacity.