The automated vessel designed to transport electricity from offshore wind farms to shore

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.”

NamePower ARK 100
SizeLOA: 100.5 m / Width: 21.9 m / Draft: 5 m
DWT2,200t
Range100-300km (When running purely on electricity)
SpeedCruise: 7 knots, Max: 14 knots
Power Capacity222MWh
Navigation and SensorsSonar, Lidar, AIS, Radar, Weather sensors, Autonomous navigation software and sensing equipment
NavigationGNSS-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.


Read more: Europe’s offshore wind to green hydrogen plan won’t work for the US, report finds


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John Engel is the Content Director for Renewable Energy World. For the past decade, John has worked as a journalist across various mediums -- print, digital, radio, and television -- covering sports, news, and politics. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife, Malia. Have a story idea or a pitch for Renewable Energy World? Email John at john.engel@clarionevents.com.

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