"To Expand Offshore Power, Japan Builds Floating Windmills"

"OFF THE COAST OF FUKUSHIMA, Japan -- Twelve miles out to sea from the severely damaged and leaking nuclear reactors at Fukushima, a giant floating wind turbine signals the start of Japan’s most ambitious bet yet on clean energy."

"When this 350-foot-tall windmill is switched on next month, it will generate enough electricity to power 1,700 homes. Unremarkable, perhaps, but consider the goal of this offshore project: to generate over 1 gigawatt of electricity from 140 wind turbines by 2020. That is equivalent to the power generated by a nuclear reactor.

The project’s backers say that offshore windmills could be a breakthrough for this energy-poor nation. They would enable Japan to use a resource it possesses in abundance: its coastline, which is longer than that of the United States. With an exclusive economic zone — an area up to 200 miles from its shores where Japan has first dibs on any resources — that ranks it among the world’s top 10 largest maritime countries, Japan has millions of square miles to position windmills."

Hiroko Tabuchi reports for the New York Times October 24, 2013.

Source: NY Times, 10/25/2013