NAGASAKI, Japan, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Japan's first offshore floating wind farm began trial operations Wednesday off the coast of the western prefecture of Nagasaki, officials said.
Public broadcaster NHK said the wind farm is being operated by a technical team from Japan's Environment Ministry, which installed a 100-kilowatt turbine equipped with 36-foot-diameter rotor on a 200-foot tower about a half mile off the coast of Kabashima island, one of the Goto Islands.
After several months of operations to collect performance and maintenance data, a larger 2-megawatt generator will replace the current turbine next summer in order to sell electricity to the grid, officials said.
Utilizing alternative energy sources in Japan has become a significant national issue after the 2011 disaster at Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant, a ministry spokesman said.
The offshore trial is seen as an opportunity for widely developing wind power generation, the spokesman said.