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A call for help to get bold plans realised

Several South Korean provinces are moving forward with small steps towards big wind development plans, but recent activity shows unsure footing, and the government is seeking foreign help for technical stability.

South Korea is moving forward with small steps towards its big wind development plans, but recent activity shows unsure footing, and the government is seeking foreign help for technical stability. At a 300 MW project in the Cheju province, three Danish made Vestas turbines -- two 660 kW and one 225 kW -- have joined the two 660 kW machines already in operation (Windpower Monthly, June 1998), reports Chan Shinn of the Korea Green Energy Research Institute (KGERI). The provincial government hopes to complete the project by 2006.

In Kyengsangbuk-do province, one Vestas 600 kW turbine has been installed at what is planned to be a 100 MW commercial wind farm. The turbine was built on Ulryong-do Island in the Sea of Japan, bringing the country's total operating capacity to just over 4 MW.

Meanwhile, the Chenrabuk-do provincial government plans to install two units of a 750 kW prototype machine this year at Sae Mann Keum, a 33 kilometre sea dike that is slated to become the site of a 300 MW wind farm. Already on site is a 60 kW VAWT/HAWT combined system, developed by KGERI and undergoing field testing. Shinn reports that domestic manufacturers lack skills and know-how, and KGERI is seeking a foreign business partner with experience.

Two more provinces have also planned wind farm projects, to be on-line by 2005. Kangwon-do has picked a spot at the Taeback Mountains, 600-800 metres above sea level, where the wind speed averages 9.3 m/s. Chung-chengbuk-do has meanwhile selected a location at Suhsan, on the coast of the Yellow Sea.

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