Taiwan offshore wind energy projects

Developers have issued updates on several planned wind projects offshore Taiwan, with these schemes gaining environmental approval and new partners.

Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration has approved a total of eight environmental impact assessments (EIAs), for projects planned off Changhua County.

Four of these sites are being developed by Denmark’s Ørsted. The developer said in a statement that following the conclusion of the approval process, it had secured exclusivity over the four sites. Total capacity across the four wind farms, sited between 35 km and 60 km from shore, is expected to be 2.4 GW.

The company will now look to secure corresponding grid capacity in 2018 and obtain the establishment permit by end of 2019 at the latest. Following this, it will then look to secure feed-in-tariff (FiT) support by signing a power purchase agreement (PPA).

Pending a final investment decision (FID), construction of the first of the four projects could potentially start as early as next year, the developer added. Ørsted confirmed to NewsBase Intelligence (NBI) that it had not disclosed any expected investment figures on the project.

One project, proposed by the China Steel Corp (CSC), was also cleared by the EPA.

Meanwhile, Germany-based utility EnBW has joined a consortium developing three additional offshore wind projects, also off Changhua, in its first venture outside Europe. The group has acquired 37.5% stakes in each of three EIA-approved projects, with total capacity of around 2,000 MW, and joins a consortium comprised of Australian investment group Macquarie Capital and Taiwanese project developer Swancor Renewable.

Swancor and Macquarie and the Changhua County government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the projects in March 2017.
EnBW will now take on “the majority” of the technical work involved in development of the Formosa 3 project sites, it said, as the partnership now looks to secure grid connection capacity for the projects. According to EnBW, an invitation to tender is also in preparation. PPAs are anticipated to last 20 years, with tariff support “higher than European benchmarks”, the company added.

The acquisition is still subject to the approval of the Taiwanese Cartel Authority.

In total Taiwan has identified 36 potential offshore wind farm sites which it intends to be developed by 2025, 21 of which are off Changhua. These sites should provide a planned 5.5 GW of capacity by that date.

It will offer a fixed FiT for 3 GW of capacity, and an auction-based subsidy scheme for a further 2.5 GW for projects due between 2021 to 2025. Its next auction is expected to be held in April 2018.

Alongside the Ørsted and Macquarie-led projects, the government also signed co-operation agreements with Canada’s Northland Power, Singapore’s Yushan Energy and the local state-run Taiwan Power last year.