Sat, Nov 04, 2017 - Page 3 News List

First floating wind farm reviewed

PROJECT ASSESSMENT:The proposed floating wind farm would avoid affecting the humpback dolphin habitat and seabed, but its area would overlap the CPC terminal project

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s first floating wind farm project, which is to be conducted by a subsidiary of French energy developer Eolfi, yesterday received its first environmental impact review by the Environmental Protection Administration’s (EPA) review committee.

In November last year, Eolfi and Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) signed a letter of intent in Paris, with the company agreeing to have installations generating 1 gigawatt of electricity by 2030.

The French company founded its Taiwanese subsidiary — Eolfi Greater China — in Taipei in 2014 and plans to build five offshore wind farms.

At yesterday’s review meeting, the company introduced its floating wind farm project, which is to sit off the shore of Taoyuan’s Guanyin (觀音) and Sinwu (新屋) districts and generate 500 megawatts of electricity with 82 wind turbines.

The floating wind turbines and power substations would be constructed and maintained on-shore and then pulled to their planned sites at sea by ships, the company’s representative said.

The project’s effect on marine life and the environment would be minimized because it does not involve driving piles into the seabed, the representative said.

While the company’s project has avoided affecting the habitat of Taiwanese humpback dolphins — generally viewed as the biggest problem by environmentalists — Maritime Port Bureau section head Tsai Yu-ming (蔡育明) advised the company not to set up its wind farm at the current site.

The project’s planned site overlaps about one-third of the cross-strait direct fairway, which means that it would affect the traffic of ships sailing toward the Port of Taipei, Tsai said.

It is also near the No. 2 offshore wind farm planned by the Bureau of Energy, at a distance of less than 3 nautical miles (5.6km), he said, adding that the port bureau would prioritize the Bureau of Energy’s project.

CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC) does not welcome the project because it is located about 11km from shore and would overlap with the CPC’s plans to construct the third liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal off Taoyuan’s Guantang Industrial Park.

Although CPC’s terminal project has stalled because of environmental issues, the wind farm project would obstruct the traffic of ships carrying LNG, a company representative said, adding that its terminal project was planned earlier.

The EPA review committee’s chairperson Lee Chien-ming (李堅明) said the fairway issue is indeed complicated and advised Eolfi Greater China to consider trimming its development area.

Regardless of whether it passes CPC’s plan, the review committee is requiring the French developer to submit more information about alternative planning, including considerations about CPC’s project, by Jan. 31 next year.

This story has been viewed 2818 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top