Taiwan agrees offshore wind turbine pilot

TAIWAN: Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has signed an agreements to build two offshore wind plants off the country's coast by 2015.

Taiwan plans offshore wind pilot projects

The deal with Formosa Wind Power (FWP) and Fuhai Wind Farm (FWF) will see four to six offshore wind turbines set up for testing before 2015.

By 2020 FWP is expected to have 36 turbines in five to 30 metre deep waters, off Miaoli County, western Taiwan.

FWF is anticipated to have 30 turbines in waters 24-40 metres deep off the coast of Changhua County, also on the west of the country.

Environmental impact assessments have already been completed.

MOEA deputy minister Duh Tyzz-jiun said the initiative will spur development of related sectors such as marine engineering and maintenance services.

Duh hopes it will promote NT$15 billion ($510 million) to NT$22.5b ($765m) worth of investment and create more than 9,500 jobs.

"It is envisioned that the initiative will also facilitate development of offshore wind farms around Taiwan and serve as a successful example for other countries in Asia mulling similar projects," Duh said.

Last year, Jin-Sheng Su, director of the bureau's energy technology division, said each pilot would use turbines of at least 3MW capacity using monopile or jacket foundations.

The Taiwanese government is subsidising the demonstration projects to the tune of NT$250 million ($8.3m) each for the planning phase, and for 50% of the construction cost.

Taiwan is aiming for offshore wind capacity of 600MW by 2020 and 3GW by 2030.