The government on Sunday launched the second phase of a solar power system on Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島), as part of efforts to transform the largest Taiwan-controlled island in the contested South China Sea into a low-carbon island.
The second-phase 40-kilowatt-peak (kWp) solar power system, built with a 612kWp solar power storage facility, is expected to generate an estimated 50.527 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity per year, said Nieh Chia-hsin (聶嘉馨), deputy director-general of the Coast Guard Administration’s (CGA) Coastal Patrol Directorate General.
With the first-phase construction launched in December 2011, the entire solar power system is expected to generate about 189.5MWh of electricity per year and save 49,003 liters of diesel fuel annually, Nieh said at an inauguration ceremony on the island.
That would mean a reduction of 116 tonnes of carbon emissions from diesel generators per year, thanks to the increasing adoption of renewable energy generation, he added.
Funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the CGA began the second-phase construction of the solar power system earlier this year in cooperation with Tatung Co.
Developing Itu Aba into a “low-carbon island” was an idea promoted by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in a South China Sea policy meeting in November 2010. The initiative aims to demonstrate the nation’s sovereignty over the area by focusing on scientific research and environmental protection.
China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines also claim all or part of the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島). Itu Aba is the largest island in the group.
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