Province acts fast to meet obligation

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Plans to increase its wind capacity from the current 10.2 MW to at least 1000 MW within 15-20 years have been unveiled by the government of Fuxin district in China's north-eastern province of Liaoning. At the end of last year Liaoning, China's second leading province for wind development, had 11 wind farms with a combined capacity of 126.5 MW. The Fuxin plan, developed to meet obligations under China's new renewable energy law which comes into effect next January, could see the province take pole position ahead of Inner Mongolia, which has 135 MW of wind capacity.

Some 32 sites in Fuxin have been identified for wind development following wind monitoring of 100 possible sites by the Fuxin Meteorological Bureau (FMB) last year. The FMB suggests the 32 selected sites have the potential for up to 1400 MW.

According to the Fuxin City Development and Reform Commission (FDRC), the local economic watchdog which commissioned FMB to conduct the assessment, five of the sites could accommodate 100 MW each, while seven are suitable for 50 MW each and the rest between 20-30 MW. A further year's assessment of wind speed is required under current regulations before any proposals for development can be submitted for approval.

The Fuxin plan is already attracting industry interest, with India's Suzlon among those who have sent teams to the area to assess the potential. If the plan is accomplished, Fuxin could attract CHY 8-10 billion (EUR 741.3-926.5 million) of investment into the region. Moreover, the wind plants could generate an annual output worth CHY 2 billion (EUR 185.2 million), earning the district approximately CHY 200 million (EUR 18.5 million) in tax revenue.

Fuxin's one plant, the 10.2 MW Zhangwu wind farm developed by Jinshan Wind Power Company at a cost of CHY 91 million (EUR 8.43 million), consists of 12 Vestas 850 kW machines and became operational in December 2003. Site works for a planned CHY 380 million (EUR 35.19 million) 40 MW second phase are due to begin soon, with the project expected to be fully commissioned next year. Bids to supply the turbines for this phase are currently being processed.

Yang Zijiang of Zhangwu County's Development Reform Commission, says another 50 MW project, proposed by a joint venture of local companies Aochuang and Liaoneng, is also under consideration.

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