Nine offshore wind farm plans rejected by EPA committee

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Jul 02, 2017 - Page 3

Nine planned offshore wind farms near Changhua County on Friday failed a committee review of their environmental impact analyses, the Environmental Protection Administration said.

The Bureau of Energy in 2015 announced 36 sites for offshore wind farms, 21 of which are situated off Changhua County.

Wind farm developers are required to pass environmental impact assessments by the end of this year to gain development approval.

The EPA on Friday held three meetings to review the analyses for nine offshore wind farms, including one by Greater Changhua’s Northwest/Northeast/Southwest/Southeast Offshore Wind Power Corp, which is backed by Denmark-based DONG Energy, to develop four wind farms up to 50.1km off Changhua’s coast.

Hai Long wind farm, in which Singapore’s Yushan Energy and Canada’s Northland Power hold shares, plan to develop two wind farms up to 50km off Changhua’s coast.

Hai Ding Offshore Wind Energy, a subsidiary of Swancor Holding Co, plans to develop three wind farms up 62.1km off the Changhua coast.

The nine wind farms are to be built outside regular shipping lanes and it would be boost for the renewable energy industry if these remote sites could pass environmental impact assessments before construction begins, said EPA Deputy Minister Thomas Shun-Kuei Chan (詹順貴), who chaired the committee.

Developers did not provide adequate analyses of the effect development might have on migrating birds and other wildlife, nor did they present effective response measures, Chang said.

Committee member Lee Chyi-tyi (李錫堤) said the cumulative environmental impact should also be taken into account.

It would be difficult to evaluate a cumulative effect, given that each of the wind farms are to be developed by different companies, a DONG Energy spokesperson said.

However, the company would solicit advice from experts, the spokesperson said.

Developers are required to submit more detailed assessments that include decommissioning plans before Sept. 30.