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Japan picks four more ‘promising areas’ for offshore wind power

TOKYO, July 3 (Reuters) – Japan’s industry ministry said on Friday it has identified 10 areas as potentially suitable for development of offshore wind farms, four of which were designated “promising areas”, as it started a second round of the process to select operators.

Japan’s offshore wind power market is expected to grow after the government enforced a law last year to enhance development of wind farms.

The new promising areas include two in the Sea of Japan off Aomori and one off Akita, both in northern Japan, and one off Nagasaki in the south.

For those areas, the preparation process, which includes wind and geological surveys and the formation of councils to consult communities, will start immediately.

Last year, the ministry selected four promising areas from 11 that were seen as potentially suitable for offshore wind power development.

Of those four, the 21 megawatt (MW) Goto project in Nagasaki is leading the way, with the ministry launching a bidding process to select an operator in June, the first auction under the new law. (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi Editing by Robert Birsel)

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