South Korea plans to build over two hundred wind turbines along sea walls

The Korea Rural Community Corp. (KRC) said it signed a memorandum of understanding earlier in the day with local companies to build 240 wind energy generators by 2016 that can generate a combined 966 GWh of electric power per year.

The wind farm facilities in South Chungcheong Province are expected to lead to a reduction of some 1.43 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and create 120.7 billion won (US$106.3 million) in earnings for private operators.

Seoul is not bound to cut back on gas emissions by the Kyoto Protocol, an internationally agreed framework on climate change, but last year it voluntarily pledged to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent from its 2020 "business-as-usual" level. Making cuts based on a BAU forecast does not necessarily translate into overall output reductions, though the country will have to burn less fossil fuel.

The KRC will provide land for the wind turbines in such places as Dangjin and Hongseong, with power companies and private businesses coming up with the 1.2 trillion won in funds needed for the wind farm project. Korea East-West Power Co., Doosan Heavy Industry and Construction Co. and POSCO Engineering & Construction Co. plan to build and operate the wind turbines.

Feasibility and environment impact studies are expected to start in May with actual construction to begin in the second half of 2011.

The wind energy project is expected to lead to the creation of new jobs for local residents and to make use of land currently not in use, the KRC said. It said the wind turbines may be built on top of the seawalls or offshore.

The project follows a similar effort launched in October 2009 that called for large scale wind power generators in Jeolla Province on South Korea’s southwestern coast.