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The turbines of America's first offshore wind farm off the coast of Block Island, R.I., on Oct. 17, 2022.David Goldman/The Associated Press

Japan has agreed to partner with the United States to help reduce the cost of floating offshore wind projects, the White House said in a statement released during Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to Washington to meet with President Joe Biden.

Under the agreement, Japan and the U.S. would work to accelerate developments in engineering, manufacturing and other areas related to floating wind farms, the statement said. Tokyo would also contribute 120 billion yen ($784-million) to develop floating wind technology via its Green Innovation Fund.

The United States has set a goal of installing 15 gigawatts of floating offshore wind capacity by 2035 – enough to power more than 5 million homes – to help displace fossil fuel for power generation and fight climate change.

The U.S. plan also calls for cutting the cost of floating offshore wind installations operating in deep waters by more than 70 per cent to $45 per megawatt-hour over the next decade. Floating wind power installations are typically bigger and costlier than bottom-fixed structures.

Floating offshore wind is relatively new in Japan, where state auctions for offshore wind farms have so far involved only bottom-fixed installations.

Last month, Japanese energy companies including Mitsubishi Corp’s wind power unit, Tokyo Gas and JERA teamed-up to jointly develop floating offshore wind technology to help Japan reach its renewable energy goals.

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