Taiwan?s biggest solar energy plant launched in Kaohsiung

After 18 months of construction, the largest solar energy plant in Taiwan’s history is now fully operational in the southern city of Kaohsiung, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs Oct. 1.

Costing NT$640 million (US$20.9 million) to build, the solar power plant, to be managed by state-run Taiwan Power Co., is fitted with more than 16,000 solar panels, MOEA officials said.

They added that the plant is expected to generate 5.92 megawatts of electricity per year, about the same amount consumed by 1,600 households in one year, and that the plant will reduce carbon emissions by 3,623 metric tons annually.

“Taiwan must move in the direction of utilizing renewable energy,” MOEA Minister Shih Yen-shiang said at the inaugural ceremony. “Besides solar energy, the government is also committed to developing off-shore wind energy, geothermal energy and tidal energy.”

The plant is situated in Kaohsiung’s Yungan District, where Taipower originally planned to build a coal ash dump. But under the strong advocacy of green energy groups and with abundant sunlight available, the company decided to install solar panels at the site instead.

Aaron Hsu, www.taiwantoday.tw/