The Green Investment Group (GIG), part of Australia’s Macquarie Group, has decided to sell its Tokyo-based renewable energy platform to Iberdrola SA and form a joint venture (JV) with the Spanish utility to co-develop 3.3 GW of offshore wind in Japan. GIG’s platform, Acacia Renewables KK has two offshore wind projects totalling 1.2 GW under development, which could be operational by 2028, and 2.1 GW capacity in the pipeline.
Iberdrola has stated that it has set its sights on Japan as a new growth platform in renewables, and offshore wind in particularly. The utility has stakes in operational offshore wind farms worldwide with a combined capacity of just over 1 GW, while GIG has backed operational offshore wind projects with a combined capacity of just under 1.3 GW. The two companies will both take charge of developing Acacia’s projects. Acacia has already issued public notices of Environmental Impact Assessments for its six sites. These are wind farms called Satsuma, Nanao Shika, Fukui Konpira, Shiroishi Kosugo, Fukui Konpira and Tono. The green infrastructure investor said that three of the six projects in the portfolio will be floating wind schemes.
There is currently just over 40 MW of operational wind power capacity installed in Japanese waters. However, a growing number of developers are targeting the nascent market ahead of offshore wind tenders, which are expected to be opened shortly.
In early September 2020, Equinor, Jera and J-Power joined a long list of partnerships targeting the Japanese offshore wind market, despite the nation’s apparent slow uptake of the technology.
REGlobal’s Views: The transaction represents Iberdrola’s debut in Japan’s emerging offshore wind market and the second JV with GIG. The duo co-owns the 714-MW East Anglia One offshore wind farm off the UK coast. Their synergies will help it capture the nascent offshore wind market in Japan. The only risk pertains to the impact of a lengthy process for environmental impact assessment for the development of offshore wind in Japan.