Ørsted Confirms Final Investment In Taiwan’s 120 Megawatt Formosa 1 Offshore Wind Farm

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Danish wind energy giant Ørsted has confirmed its final investment decision for the second phase of Taiwan’s Formosa 1 offshore wind farm which will add 120 megawatts (MW) to the existing 8 MW demonstration capacity of the country’s first offshore wind project.

Phase 1 of the Taiwanese Formosa 1 offshore wind farm

The Formosa 1 offshore wind farm is located off the coast of Chunan Town, Miaoli County on Taiwan’s North-Western coast, and currently consists of two separate phases. The first phase was an 8 MW demonstration project which was completed in April of 2017. The second phase is a 120 MW extension which, after receiving final investment decision from Ørsted now awaits similar decisions from the other two members of the project’s joint venture, Taiwanese developer Swancor Renewable and Macquarie Capital.

“We’re committed to the Taiwanese market and to the government’s offshore wind plans,” said Matthias Bausenwein, Ørsted’s General Manager for Asia Pacific. “Ørsted has shared its vast professional experience and expertise in offshore wind and thereby contributed significantly to bringing this project to the next stage and ensuring that it can be built in 2019.”

If Phase 2 proceeds — which, given Ørsted’s decision today, and Macquarie Capital’s commitment to renewable energy projects, seems relatively likely — the 120 MW project will use 6 MW wind turbines supplied by Siemens Gamesa, which signed the supply contract in early April.

Taiwan has recently become the next big offshore wind market, with several big-name wind energy developers and suppliers setting up shop. However, Ørsted’s involvement goes back to January of 2017, when (then named DONG Energy) it acquired a 35% interest in the Formosa 1 project from Swancor Renewable (which retains 15% share. Macquarie Capital holds the remaining 50%.).

“Formosa 1 is the first offshore wind project being realized by Ørsted in Asia together with its partners,” added Bausenwein. “Through intensive engagement with local stakeholders, suppliers, and financial communities, we have shared our expertise and at the same time gained valuable insight to prepare us for building large-scale offshore wind farms in the Greater Changhua region.”

Ørsted is also developing four other offshore wind projects in the Greater Changhua region, located 35 to 60 kilometers off the coast and with a maximum capacity of 2.4 GW. The projects received environmental approval back in December (or February, depending on reports), and if they proceed will begin construction in 2021 through to 2025. Upon potential completion, the 2.4 GW worth of Greater Changhua offshore wind could power around 2.8 million Taiwanese homes.

In addition to Ørsted’s involvement in the region, MHI Vestas and Siemens Gamesa have similarly begun making moves into Taiwan. Siemens Gamesa signed Memorandums of Understanding in December and February to begin solidifying its construction base in the region, while MHI Vestas signed four Memorandums of Understanding with local companies to build out its own supply chain in the area.

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Joshua S Hill

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