Japan’s PowerX is developing the world’s first vessel to transport electricity generated by offshore wind farms to shore. (Courtesy: PowerX)

Japan’s PowerX is developing the world’s first vessel to transport electricity generated by offshore wind farms to shore.

The automated “Power Transfer Vessel” aims to support Japan’s goal of increasing offshore wind power generation from 20 megawatts to 10 gigawatts by 2030 and 30-45 GW by 2040. PowerX will also construct a large-scale battery packing facility to produce EV fast-charging, grid, and marine batteries.

“PowerX will design and build an automated Power Transfer Vessel with a massive battery payload that is integrated with the ship’s controls to transport offshore wind power to shore,” the company said in a press release. “An undersea power cable typically requires expensive construction that comes with substantial environmental impacts.”

Name Power ARK 100
Size LOA: 100.5 m / Width: 21.9 m / Draft: 5 m
DWT 2,200t
Range 100-300km (When running purely on electricity)
Speed Cruise: 7 knots, Max: 14 knots
Power Capacity 222MWh
Navigation and Sensors Sonar, Lidar, AIS, Radar, Weather sensors, Autonomous navigation software and sensing equipment
Navigation GNSS-GPS, INS, FOG/ARHS, PPU, Collision avoidance systems

The Power ARK 100, the first model in the power transfer vessel series, is expected to be completed in 2025. The vessel will carry 100 grid batteries with 200MWh of power. The vessel will be able to travel up to 300 km while running only on electricity and can unlock long-distance transmission when powered by electricity and sustainable biodiesel fuels, the company said.

PowerX will mass-produce batteries for the vessels with the construction of a giga-scale assembly facility in Japan. The company expects annual production capacity to reach 1 GWh by 2024 and 5 GWh by 2028.

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