South Korea plans $8.2bn offshore push

SOUTH KOREA: South Korea's government has announced plans to invest $8.2 billion over the next nine years in the development of offshore wind farms.

The country's Ministry of Knowledge Economy said it was aiming to set up a private-public partnership to install around 500 turbines off the west coast.

Collectively the projects will eventually have a 2.5GW capacity.

The plan includes:

  • A 100MW test project will come online by 2013.
  • 900MW project by 2016.
  • 1.5GW added by 2019

The South Korean government said constructing the offshore wind farms would allow Korean companies to gain experience in the sector and develop new products for export.

No other details about the projects were available, however it is likely Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai will be involved. Both have the experience acquired through being both major shipbuilders and wind manufacturers.

Earlier this year, Hyundai teamed up with technology partner American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC) to announce plans to develop a 5MW offshore turbine.

According to the latest Windpower Monthly Windicator, South Korea has a total wind energy capacity of 364MW.

At the start of the year, the government said it planned to invest KRW83 billion ($72 million) in wind in 2010.