BMT completes Taiwan offshore wind study

TAIWAN: Guidelines to facilitate offshore wind projects off the coast of Taiwan have been completed by design and engineering consultants BMT Group.

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The move comes as Taiwan's government is on the verge of finalising the terms of a new financial incentive designed to kick-start development of an offshore wind-energy sector.

BMT has provided the planning and technology development guidelines. These include the impacts of wind yield, shipping activity and operations and maintenance safety.

It has already undertaken similar work in advance of two offshore wind farms of 100MW and 200MW in Hong Kong.

The guidelines aim to replicate the best practice found in Europe while recognising local challenges facing offshore wind in Taiwan.

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"Offshore wind is not onshore wind plus water" said BMT Asia Pacific MD Richard Colwill. He cited unique factors for assessment such as the development of wave tolerant installation concepts and the design and deployment of offshore support craft and turbine access systems.

He added: "The challenge of meeting Asia’s energy demand will be met from a variety of sources, but where offshore wind is viable and attractive, such as offshore Taiwan, it is clear that this type of resource will form a major element of electricity supply in the future."

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In April, Taiwan’s Bureau of Energy within the Ministry of Economic Affairs announced grants to support the construction of two offshore demonstration projects. The bureau indicated that the grant was likely to be in the range of NT$950 million to NT$1.6 billion ($33-56 million), with each project featuring two turbines.

The most likely locations for the two pilot developments are waters off the Changhua Coastal Industrial Park in central Taiwan and/or along the coast of southern Taiwan and the outlying Penghu islands.

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