Sat, Jul 22, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Nation’s first offshore wind port planned off Taichung

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter, in TAICHUNG

Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) yesterday announced that it is teaming up with Taiwan International Ports Corp (台灣港務) to build the nation’s first offshore wind port in Taichung, as part of the state-run utility’s efforts to help accelerate the nation’s “green” energy development.

The project, in which Taipower is to invest more than NT$3 billion (US$98.52 million), is to be the largest offshore wind port in Southeast Asia, the utility said.

“This project will play a major role in the development of the ‘green’ energy industry in Taiwan,” Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Yang Wei-fu (楊偉甫) said in Taichung while overseeing the ceremony.

The offshore wind port is to consist of two wharfs and a plot of land at Taichung Port (台中港) with a combined size of 12.8 hectares.

Onshore assembly on the wharfs would reduce the risk and difficulty of assembling the 32m wind turbine pylons and their 32.5m-long blades, the utility said.

As the planned offshore wind farm is only 40km from the Taichung harbor, it would shorten the time it would take ships to deliver the prepared wind turbines, Taipower said.

Taiwan International Ports is to expand the weight capacity of each wharf from 3 tonnes per square meter to 50 tonnes per square meter. It is also to dump 1.5m thick layer of gravel on the seabed to enhance its capacity to handle the weight of the turbines.

Taipower chairman Chu Wen-chen (朱文成) said the company could assemble at least 30 wind turbines per year when the weight capacity expansion plan is completed in 2019, which means a total of 600 wind turbines could be assembled in the next 20 years.

Taipower plans to gradually assemble 360 wind turbines over the next 20 years and lease the wharf to other power companies to assemble their components, Chu said.

The utility has also initiated a program to install a batch of 22 offshore wind turbines with a combined installed capacity of between 108 and 110 megawatts by the end of 2020 off the coast of Changhua County, Chu said.

The 22 wind turbines would generate 360 million kilowatt-hours, enough power for 100,000 households, Chu said, adding that the first of the 22 wind turbines would be assembled in June 2019 at the earliest.

The second phase of the project would be to install 116 offshore wind turbines with a combined installed capacity of 900 megawatts, Chu said, without offering a time frame.

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