China

China

First commercial wind farm in China

China has opened its first commercial wind farm. On the island of Nan'ao near the city of Shantou in southern China, the 24 MW plant comprises 40 NEG Micon 600 kW turbines and is the result of international co-operation between Dutch and Chinese developers. As well as being the largest in Asia, the project has been financed entirely on a commercial footing "without subsidy."

China inched a little closer to its targeted 1000 MW by 2000 when Dutch ambassador Ate Oostra opened the country's first commercial wind farm in late July. On the island of Nan'ao near the city of Shantou in southern China, the 24 MW plant comprises 40 NEG Micon 600 kW turbines and is the result of international co-operation between Dutch and Chinese developers.

According to NUON, which holds a majority share in the $30 million project, the wind plant is unique. As well as being the largest in Asia, it has been financed entirely on a commercial footing "without subsidy."

Under a contract signed in August 1997, (Windpower Monthly, November 1997), NUON has furnished 55% of an initial funding of $10 million while the remaining 45% has been jointly underwritten by the project's co-developers, the China Fulin Wind Power Development Corporation of Beijing, the Nan'ao Zhenneng Wind Power Company and the Shantou Electric Power Board -- the regional power company of Guangdong province. NUON is responsible for finding the $20 million balance on the European finance markets. The investment risk is being covered by credit insurer, the Nederlandse Credietverzekerings Maatschappij, which also covers what the Dutch utility terms the "political risk" .

Representing 25% of China's total wind capacity, the plant is expected to provide sufficient electricity for some 60,000 Chinese households, with power being fed directly into the national grid via the Shantou Electricity Power Board. An annual growth rate of 9.3% means that the Chinese energy market is expanding at three times the world average.

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