The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday approved Danish energy developer Orsted Wind Power’s wind farm projects off the coast of Changhua County, but rejected a project proposed by demonstration developer Taiwan Generations Corp.
An environmental impact assessment grand assembly was held yesterday to review four offshore wind farm projects by Orsted, three by Swancor Holding Co and one by China Steel Corp (CSC), as well as a Taiwan Generations proposal and one by Wpd Taiwan Energy Co off the coast of Yunlin County.
The assembly approved the projects of CSC, Orsted and Swancor, but asked Wpd to submit more documentation about migratory birds and underwater construction and rejected Taiwan Generations’ project.
On Wednesday, Orsted chief executive officer Martin Neubert unveiled the company’s plan to set up its first energy storage system in Asia in Changhua, expecting to invest between NT$50 million and NT$200 million (US$1.70 million and US$6.80 million) in the system.
Orsted plans to install a maximum of 301 wind turbines at planned sites Nos. 12, 13, 14 and 15, with their capacity to reach 2.4 gigawatts (GW), it said, adding that it intends to work with local universities to cultivate specialists for the local energy industry.
Working with the Macquarie Group, Swancor plans to install a maximum of 228 turbines at sites Nos. 11, 16 and 17, with their capacity to total 2.004GW.
Swancor general manager Lucas Lin (林雍堯) said the company would help cultivate local talent and has already worked with the county’s Dayeh University (大葉大學), after the Changhua County Government demanded it promise to foster a local industrial chain.
However, the grand assembly rejected Taiwan Generations’ Fuhai (福海) wind farm project off the coast of Changhua, citing the company’s continuous delay of its first-stage turbine construction, its inability to solve conflicts with local fishers and its greater environmental impact, even though Fuhai is one of the three demonstration sites selected by the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Bureau of Energy in 2013.
In the EPA’s review process, a proposed project enters initial reviews by a committee before reaching the grand assembly, which grants final approval.
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