Japanese utility Chubu Electric Power has signed an agreement with Dutch energy company Eneco to acquire a 30% stake in Ecowende, a joint venture between Eneco and Shell.

Ecowende is engaged in developing Hollandse Kust West (HKW), a large-scale offshore wind farm project located around 53km off the northwest coast of the Netherlands.

Through the transaction, Chubu will participate in the development of the HKW site VI offshore wind project development, which is scheduled to become operational in 2026.

The offshore wind farm project will have the capacity to feed 760MW into the Dutch power grid, which is adequate to meet around 3% of the current demand for electricity in the Netherlands.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year, subject to necessary approvals from the relevant parties, including competition authorities.

Eneco intends to use the proceeds from the transaction in other renewable energy projects.

Eneco CEO As Tempelman said: “I am very pleased with Chubu’s participation in Ecowende. Our strategic partnership is much valued, and this arrangement will intensify our collaboration in the offshore wind business.

“Furthermore, the divestment proceeds will enable us to make new investments in renewable energy assets as part of our One Planet Plan, with the goal of becoming a climate-neutral energy company in 2035.”

In December 2022, Ecowende won the tender for the HKW offshore wind farm project.

Japanese energy company Chubu has been a shareholder of Eneco since 2020, and currently has a 20% stake in the company, with other partners including Mitsubishi.

Eneco currently holds 40% of the shares in Ecowende, which will be decreased to 10% while Chubu will have a 30% stake in Ecowende, once the transaction is completed.

Chubu said that the purchase of a 30% stake in Ecowende represents its first direct investment in an offshore wind farm.

Also, the Japanese utility intends to use Ecowendes experience with all types of ecological advancements in offshore wind farms, with plans to develop in Japan and other countries.

Chubu global business division senior managing executive officer and CEO Hiroki Sato said: “This is a significant step for us to enhance our partnership with Eneco and Shell. The main concept of this Project is Ecological Innovation, which is the first one for offshore wind farms in the world.

“Thanks to this concept, Ecowende will build and operate the wind farm with minimal impact on the environment and protected species.

“I am convinced that the concept of Ecological Innovation will become mainstream globally in the near future, including in Japan and Asia.”