Hitachi is planning to enter the offshore wind market by adding a production line to make the parts of a turbine that house key components such as the gear box and generators used in some of the largest wind-generation systems currently available.
The Tokyo-based company is considering adding a line to produce nacelles for 5 MW wind power systems by the end of March 2016, Hisahiro Sakai, a spokesperson for Hitachi, said. A nacelle is the box-like component that sits atop a wind turbine’s tower. The line will be set up at a plant in Ibaraki prefecture where nacelles for 2 MW power-generation systems are currently made, according to Sakai. The Nikkei newspaper reported earlier that Hitachi will invest several billions of yen for the additional line. Sakai declined to comment on cost.
Hitachi specializes in the development of so-called downwind power-generation systems. Downwind turbines face away from the wind, while upwind turbines face into the wind. Hitachi’s first 5 MW downwind turbines began producing power at a station in Kamisu City, Ibaraki prefecture, east of Tokyo on September 3rd.