Hitachi Plans to Add Production Line for Offshore Wind Parts

Hitachi Ltd. plans to expand its reach into the market for offshore wind projects by adding a production line to make the parts of a turbine that house key components such as the gear box and generators used in some of the largest wind-generation systems currently available.

The Tokyo-based company is considering adding a line to produce nacelles for 5 MW wind power systems by the end of March 2016, Hisahiro Sakai, a spokesperson for Hitachi, said by phone Wednesday. A nacelle is the box-like component that sits atop a wind turbine’s tower.

The move comes as Japan’s policy makers, manufacturers and project developers test the case for wind projects along the nation’s coastline and beyond. The largest wind turbines are typically used in such locations because of the strength of the wind.

The line will be set up at a plant in Ibaraki prefecture where nacelles for 2 MW power-generation systems are currently made, according to Sakai. The Nikkei newspaper reported earlier that Hitachi will invest several billions of yen for the additional line. Sakai declined to comment on cost.

Japan is expected to add as much as 260 MW of offshore wind capacity within the next five years, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecast, which analyzed trade ministry data.

Hitachi specializes in the development of so-called downwind power-generation systems. Downwind turbines face away from the wind, while upwind turbines face into the wind.

Hitachi’s first 5 MW downwind turbines began producing power at a station in Kamisu City, Ibaraki prefecture, east of Tokyo on Tuesday.

Hitachi’s 5 MW system has advantages over upwind turbine systems “in terms of reliability and cost effectiveness for offshore wind projects, and is suitable for Japan’s environment,” Takehiro Kawahara, an analyst for BNEF, said.

©2015 Bloomberg News

Lead image: Hitachi Ltd. Turbine Plant Credit: Bloomberg

Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now


The Time is Right for Optimum Reliability: Capital-Intensive Industries and Asset Performance Management

Imagine a plant that is no longer at risk of a random shutdown. Imagine not worrying about losing...

Going Digital: The New Normal in Oil & Gas

In this whitepaper you will learn how Keystone Engineering, ONGC, and Saipem are using software t...

Maximizing Operational Excellence

In a recent survey conducted by PennEnergy Research, 70% of surveyed energy industry professional...

Leveraging the Power of Information in the Energy Industry

Information Governance is about more than compliance. It’s about using your information to drive ...

Latest PennEnergy Jobs

PennEnergy Oil & Gas Jobs