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Assessing potential for offshore wind off Taiwan

Taiwanese utility Taipower says it is assessing the potential for offshore wind to contribute to Taiwan's goal for 10% of its electricity demand, or 2150 MW, to come from renewable energy sources by 2010. According to a preliminary site selection study, Yunlin, Changhwa and Penghu Island show "excellent" potential. Yunlin and Changhwa could accommodate up to 91 and 294 turbines, respectively, with each machine rated at 3.6 MW, to give a total installed capacity of 1386 MW, says Taipower. The utility plans to choose one site to do a full feasibility study, with a view to completing it in 2007 so construction can start in 2009. Taipower's head of wind power development, Chen Wu-hsiung, adds that Penghu Island is one of the best sites for wind farms, but development there is restricted by poor transmission. The company is evaluating installation of a 200 MW undersea cable connecting Penghu and the Taiwan mainland before the end of 2011. With the cable installed, Penghu's wind potential is up to 240 MW, it says, with about 40 turbines onshore and up to 50 offshore.

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