Principle Power’s floating offshore wind turbine design has been approved for use in Japanese waters.

The California-based technology firm says that classification society ClassNK has issued an approval in principle (AIP) for the WindFloat offshore wind foundation that features a 5 MW turbine.

The AIP indicates that the WindFloat design “is conceptually feasible in accordance with the strict Japanese design and regulatory standards”, Principle Power said. It also shows that risks have been properly analyzed and that ClassNK is satisfied that the engineering for the foundation is suitable for deployment in the offshore environment, it added.

Principle Power has already received AIPs from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and Bureau Veritas (BV) for projects in Europe and the USA. It said that the AIPs were an indication of the progress it has made in the commercialization of its floating foundation design.

Japan has the potential to install 500 GW of floating offshore wind capacity, according to the Carbon Trust. Earlier this year a ten-member consortium, supported by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, installed a floating offshore wind demonstration project in Fukushima.

The Fukushima project consists of a 2 MW, a 5 MW and a 7 MW turbine and started operating in mid-2016.