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Japan starts up offshore wind farm near Fukushima

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November 10, 2013 11:46 PM EST | AP


ONAHAMA PORT, Japan (AP) — Japan has switched on the first turbine at a wind farm 20 kilometers (12 miles) off the coast of Fukushima, feeding electricity to the grid tethered to the tsunami-crippled nuclear plant onshore.

The wind farm which started up Monday, near the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant, is to eventually have a capacity of 1 gigawatt from 143 turbines.

Its significance is not limited to the energy it will produce. Symbolically, the turbines will help restore the role of energy supplier to a region decimated by the multiple meltdowns that followed the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

It also highlights Japan's aspirations to utilize its advanced energy technology from cleaner versions of conventional coal, oil and gas-burning thermal power plants to renewables and also nuclear power.