Taipower building solar power plant

‘GREEN’ ENERGY::When completed, the plant will be able to generate 130 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, supplying power to over 30,000 households

By Kuo Chia-erh  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Feb 09, 2018 - Page 12

State-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) yesterday held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new solar power plant at the Changhua Coastal Industrial Park (彰濱工業區), with company officials saying they expect the plant to start operations before the end of the year at the earliest,

The facility, with an installed capacity of 100 megawatts, would be capable of generating 130 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, supplying power to more than 30,000 households, Taipower said in a statement.

The 150-hectare site, which was originally set to house a coal-fired power plant, will be transformed into the nation’s largest ground-mounted solar system, it said.

It would be the world’s 54th-largest solar plant, it said.

Batteries and equipment at the site would all be made by Taiwanese companies, Taipower chairman Yang Wei-fu (楊偉甫) said, adding that the Changhua plant would be benchmark power project for the nation.

Electricity generated by the plant would mainly be used to supply power domestically, Yang said, but added that the government is open to the idea of selling the “green” power to foreign companies.

Besides installing 339,000 solar panels at the site, Taipower is also building step-up substations at the site to store electricity generated from offshore wind farms along Changhua’s coast.

Capital expenditure for the Changhua project is expected to reach nearly NT$6.2 billion (US$211 million), Taipower said.

The company said it has awarded the contract to Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), which has undertaken more than 400 solar power projects nationwide.

Given its geographical advantages, Changhua County’s solar power industry last year produced more than 200 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, contributing nearly 15 percent to the nation’s total solar power generation, Taipower data showed.

Apart from Changhua, Taipower said it is planning to build a solar power plant in Tainan, with an installed capacity of 150 megawatts.

Construction of the Tainan plant is to begin in the middle of this year, Taipower said.

The solar power projects are in line with the company’s plan to accelerate the development of renewable energy in the nation and meet the government’s goal of phasing out nuclear power by 2025, Taipower said.

On Wednesday, Danish energy company Orsted A/S announced that it is teaming up with several Taiwanese firms to invest between NT$50 million and NT$200 million to build a 1-megawatt energy storage facility Changhua, the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) reported.