InfraVest's Weilin Ma, from the developer's office in Taipei, says more project approvals could follow. An eagerly anticipated new renewable energy law, expected to be passed by parliament before the year is out, is proposing a fixed rate for wind power of TWD 2-2.5/kWh ($0.06/kWh-0.074/kWh) over ten years. The government is aiming for 15% of Taiwan's electricity -- some 6500 MW -- to come from renewables by 2020.
Furthermore, a mandate for state utility Taipower to buy all power from wind plants for the duration of their working life is to come into force in the coming weeks, she says. This regulation also commits the utility to paying TWD 2/kWh for ten years, after which the price can be renegotiated until the wind turbines are no longer operable.
The approved 22.1 MW wind farm is to use 17 Nordex 1.3 MW turbines and be on line by the end of next year. The output, to be sold to Taipower under the terms of the regulation, will be the first electricity sold on a commercial basis in Taiwan. InfraVest's local subsidiary will operate the wind farm, while a share in the project could be taken by a German investment company. InfraVest is also expected to receive a state subsidy for the project, equivalent to 40% of the cost of 3.6 MW installed capacity.
Weilin Ma says she hopes the central authorities in Miaoli will approve development of a second wind farm (27 MW) soon. The project gained local government approval two years ago and if approved by the central government as expected it will also come online by the end of 2004. The cost of the two projects will be around $60 million, she says. The government would provide about $1.7 million in subsidies.