Japan Offshore Wind Update – Round 2 Results & Round 3 Process

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The Japanese government released the results of the remaining "Round 2" offshore wind auctions. A consortium of Japanese and foreign developers was selected. Meanwhile, the next "Round 3" auctions are in progress.

Round 2 Auction Results

Round 2 auctions covered the following four areas:

  • Happo-Noshiro, Akita Prefecture (356MW);
  • Oga-Katagami-Akita, Akita Prefecture (336MW);
  • Murakami-Tainai, Niigata Prefecture (700MW); and
  • Saikai-Enoshima, Nagasaki Prefecture (424MW).

In our previous newsletter issued in December 2023, we reported on the results of the auctions for three of the above four areas.1 The winners were:

  • for Oga-Katagami-Akita: JERA, J-Power, Itochu and Tohoku Electric;
  • for Murakami-Tainai: Mitsui, RWE and Osaka Gas; and
  • for Saikai-Enoshima: Sumitomo and TEPCO Renewable Power.

On March 22, 2024, the results of the auction for the remaining Happo-Noshiro area were announced,2 and the winner was a consortium composed of Japan Renewable Energy (a subsidiary of ENEOS Corporation), Iberdrola Renewables Japan, and Tohoku Electric Power.

As with previous announcements, the released materials revealed some interesting information that was not publicly available until now, including the following:

  • there were three total consortia bidding for the Happo-Noshiro area;
  • the bid price of the above bidders was JPY 3/kWh (which provides the maximum points for the price component); and
  • the committed commercial operation date (COD) for the winning consortium was June 2029 (which was earlier than the other bidders).

It should be noted that for all four of the Round 2 auctions, the bidder with the earliest committed COD has been selected as the winner for that area.

Round 3 Auction Process

Meanwhile, the process for Round 3 auctions is in progress. Round 3 auctions cover the following two areas:

  • Sea of Japan (South), Aomori Prefecture (600MW); and
  • Yuza, Yamagata Prefecture (450MW).

The auction guidelines for these areas were released in January 20243 after a public comment period. The bid submissions are due by July 19, 2024, and the results of the auction are anticipated to be announced in December 2024.

The Japanese government conducted an online explanation session in February 2024 to explain the rules under the Round 3 auction guidelines. The Council members for each area also conducted similar online explanation sessions to explain their requirements from local stakeholder perspectives.

As its next step, the Japanese government intends to release its responses for the questions raised in the above explanation sessions. These responses will be the final guidance available from the Japanese government before the closing of bid submissions in July 2024.

1 https://www.meti.go.jp/press/2023/12/20231213003/20231213003.html

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