150MW Xiangshan project to feature 3MW turbines

China Guodian & Ningbo Electric to begin building next year

China Guodian has begun to develop a 150MW offshore wind farm in Xiangshan county, in waters off the eastern province of Zhejiang, in partnership with Ningbo Electric. Construction will begin next year, according to Xiangshan county officials.

The 150MW offshore wind farm will feature 50 3MW turbines, with China Guodian thus far declining to specify the turbine supplier. Annual electricity generation is forecast at 375m kwh.

Officially known as #1 Xiangshan offshore wind farm, the project is, in fact, part of a 250MW offshore wind farm previously announced by China Guodian. Taken as a whole, the 250MW project will require an investment of five billion yuan ($US796m).

Project finance was agreed in September, with China Guodian Zhejiang Branch Company and Ningbo Electric Development Company signing a framework agreement with Xiangshan county government.

The two project developers have been permitted by the Zhejiang provincial development and reform committee to undertake feasibility studies, evaluation of sea area use, environmental impact assessment and navigation security. The results of these studies will be evaluated this month by the National Development and Reform Commission.

The #1 Xiangshan offshore wind farm is due to be located north east of Tantoushan Island, within a 60km² area. The core of the wind farm will be 11km from Tantoushan Island, in water depths of 8-13m. In September 2010, China Guodian installed an anemometry tower in the area, with data indicating average wind speeds of more than 7m/s.

Xiangshan county faces the sea on three sides and features a 925km coastline and 656 islands. The county plans to develop six offshore wind farms with a total capacity of 1.9GW. In addition to China Guodian, other leading Chinese power companies, such as Datang and Huaneng, have shown interest in developing in Xiangshan’s waters.

Considering Zhejiang province as a whole, there are plans for five 1GW offshore wind clusters in the following areas: Hangzhou Bay, eastern Zhoushan, Xiangshan of Ningbo, Taizhou and Wenzhou. Two projects – of which #1 Xiangshan is one - could begin construction in 2013.