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E.ON has signed a deal with renewables company Kyuden Mirai Energy to jointly develop offshore windfarms in Japan.

The companies will begin by selecting a project for the Kyushu area in the southernmost island of Japan and they may then expand the partnership to other regions of Japan.

The co-operation follows E.ON’s decision to enter the Japanese wind market and bring to Asia its expertise from Europe, where it has 1.8 GW installed offshore wind capacity. In line with this strategy, E.ON has opened an office in Tokyo.

Kyuden Mirai currently operates 189 MW in Japan from onshore wind, solar and biomass in Japan and has a further 511 MW under development. It is a leading developer of the Hibiki-nada offshore windfarm in Kyushu and in parallel is studying opportunities for new offshore wind projects throughout Japan. Hibiki-nada is the first tendered project under the revised laws of port management in Japan.

Sven Utermöhlen, chief operating officer at E.ON Climate & Renewables, said: “Our strategy to enter the Japanese market is based on trustful and long-term cooperation with local players. We feel that Kyuden Mirai Energy is an excellent partner for us. Our capabilities complement each other while we share the same values and the ambition to drive offshore wind growth in Japan.”

Yasuji Akiyama, President of Kyuden Mirai Energy: “This year could be the memorial year for offshore wind industry in Japan with the new general sea law promoting offshore wind. It is a great timing for us to start joint activities with E.ON as the best partner for us to enter into the new market. E.ON has remarkable experience in fixed-bottom offshore wind and shares the same view on local stakeholder engagement.”

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