Taiwan’s first offshore wind farm off the coast of Miaoli County had as of late last month generated 6.5 megawatts (MW) of electricity since the launch of commercial operations in April, with capacity expected to grow to 120MW by 2019, lead developer Swancor Renewable Energy Co Ltd (上緯新能源) said.
The wind farm project — Formosa I — is one of three projects supervised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Bureau of Energy as part of its stated goal to install 1,000 wind turbines by 2030, in line with the government’s goal to produce 4 gigawatts of electricity through offshore wind.
Two 4MW wind turbines were installed in November last year under the first phase and became operational in April.
The second phase involves the addition of another 30 turbines with a combined capacity of 120MW.
Construction of phase two is expected to start in 2019 and it would begin commercial operation the same year, Swancor Renewable said.
Formosa II, which is to be located off Miaoli, is to have a planned capacity of 300MW to 500MW and is expected to pass its environmental impact assessment to obtain a commercial operating license this year.
Formosa III, to be located off Changhua County, has a planned capacity of 1,900MW and is also expected to pass the assessment and obtain a license this year.
In addition to outlying islands such as Penghu, the areas with the greatest wind energy potential are mainly along the west coast, where wind speeds reach annual averages of up to 6m per second, according to a study commissioned by the bureau.
The study showed that good spots for wind power generation in northern Taiwan are to be found in the areas between Dayuan (大園) and Sinwu (新屋) districts in Taoyuan, Hsinchu County’s Hsinfeng Township (新豐) and Hsinchu City’s Siangshan District (香山), and Houlong (後龍) and Yuanli (苑裡) townships in Miaoli County.
The entire central coastal area, from Tongsiao Township (通霄) in Miaoli, through Dajia (大甲), Wuchi (梧棲) and Dadu (大肚) districts in Taichung, to Changhua County and Yunlin County’s Mailiao Township (麥寮) are all suitable for wind power generation, the study said.
In the south, the study identified coastal areas in Chiayi County and Tainan, as well as Kenting in Pingtung County as areas with high wind energy potential.
In addition to Swancor Renewable, Dong Energy A/S, Denmark’s largest energy firm, is developing offshore wind sites in the Changhua area.
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