Currently, the Taiwan government is aggressively promoting wind energy, with a particular focus on offshore development – an essential requirement given Taiwan’s mountainous terrain and limited available terrestrial sites. New offshore demonstration projects are to be supported by Government, and larger sites developed by the private sector in a bid to boost total wind output to 4.2GW by 2030. As part of this push BMT is providing the strategic planning and technology development guidance required to exploit the significant offshore renewable resource. A key deliverable of this project has been a set of guidelines which replicate best practice within Europe, whilst recognising the particular challenges of offshore wind in Taiwan.
Dr Richard D Colwill, Managing Director of BMT Asia Pacific, comments: “What offshore wind farm developers cannot afford is a problem, or a challenge that has not been foreseen and evaluated. All projects involve risk and successful projects are those where risk is effectively identified, assessed and managed in advance. BMT’s guidelines provide the “heads up” needed by local developers in order to address these future development challenges.
The guidelines review the current state of the offshore wind market and key hazards typically associated with project development. A systematic risk management framework is used to assist the identification, evaluation and treatment of risks.
From evaluating the impacts of wind yield, shipping activity, to operations and maintenance safety, the guidelines provide a template for local Taiwanese stakeholders to build on as they take their projects forward.
This project is not the first in this field or market for BMT, having previously delivered guidelines on the development of feasibility studies for offshore wind farm development in Taiwan. BMT has also been active elsewhere in Asia providing support for developers in planning and de-risking their projects with ongoing projects in Hong Kong, where BMT has assisted development of two offshore farms of 100MW & 200MW capability.
“Offshore is not Onshore + Water” notes Dr Colwill, and BMT with its history in marine technology is well placed to support developers in overcoming what he describes as ‘the wavy bits’, whether it be the characterisation of the offshore wind/wave environment, analysis of shipping patterns, the development of wave tolerant installation concepts, or the design and deployment of offshore support craft and turbine access systems.
He continues: “The challenge of meeting Asia’s energy demand will be met from a variety of sources, but where offshore wind power is viable and attractive, such as offshore Taiwan, it is clear that this type of resource will form a major element of supply in the future.”