German wind energy developer wpd has selected Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy as its preferred wind turbine supplier for its 640 megawatt (MW) Yunlin offshore wind power project in Taiwan, following its successful entry in the country’s recent offshore wind tender.
As was reported last month, Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs announced the winners of its first big offshore wind tender in which it awarded 3.8 gigawatts (GW) to seven companies over 10 offshore projects. Among the winners were state-run Taiwan Power and the largest steel-maker in Taiwan, China Steel Corp. However, the big winners were big names like Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, which won 900 MW, German developer wpd with 1,073 MW, and Ørsted which won 900 MW.
Announced at the end of May, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy revealed that it had been chosen by wpd as the preferred wind turbine supplier for the 640 MW Yunlin offshore wind project, with the two companies signing a Letter of Intent (LoI) “for exclusive negotiations” for Siemens Gamesa’s SG 8.0-167 DD wind turbine. Siemens Gamesa would also provide a 15-year long-term service agreement for the project.
The LoI signed between the two companies is still subject to final contract, but will remain valid until July 2019, and is unlikely to be made void considering both wpd’s efforts to enter the Taiwan offshore wind energy sector, and Siemens Gamesa’s recent focus on Taiwan as a staging area for supply and development for the country and surrounding region.
The Yunlin offshore wind power project is set to be developed around six kilometers offshore in the Taiwan Strait and will make use of 80 of Siemens Gamesa’s 8 MW wind turbines, with turbine installation set to begin in 2020.
“We are delighted to have been selected by wpd and glad to confirm today that our cutting edge offshore wind turbine, the SG 8.0-167, is ready for the Taiwanese market from 2020,” said Andreas Nauen, Offshore CEO at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. “We look forward to this preferred supplier agreement soon becoming a confirmed order.”
Niels Steenberg, SGRE General Manager Offshore for the APAC region, added: “As the first large scale project in the APAC region it will play a crucial role in the development of the offshore wind industry in Taiwan. Today, we are closely working with wpd to meet the targeted timeline, and ensure required infrastructure will be in place for successful implementation.”
One of the important aspects to take note of this particular agreement is the conditions offshore wind power will be subject to in the region of Taiwan, which is not only located on the highly earthquake-prone Pacific Ring of Fire but is also subject to numerous typhoons. Interestingly, one of Siemens Gamesa’s biggest competitors, MHI Vestas, announced in the middle of May that its 9 MW wind turbines will be typhoon-ready by 2020.
This only adds a layer of complexity to the development of a Taiwanese offshore wind sector, but one that is somewhat insignificant considering the technological development ongoing in the wind turbine industry and the efforts being made by the Taiwan Government to support and propel a local offshore wind energy industry. As Robert Liew, the senior analyst for the Asia-Pacific for MAKE Consulting, explained to me last month, the Taiwanese government has implemented “a very attractive offshore [feed-in tariff (FiT)] compared to current zero subsidy bids in Europe” and provided “stable policies, encourag[ed] local banks to be involved in project financing, and investments in infrastructure to support localization of offshore wind.”
“We place great value in joining forces to help achieve the government’s targets,” added Andreas Nauen. “With the intensified cooperation of SGRE with our long-standing customer wpd, strong partners are now driving the implementation of an early utility-scale offshore project forward. Further work we are doing with separate MoU partners including Taiwan International Ports Corporation, Yeong Guan Energy Technology Group, and Swancor Holdings Co. are all aimed developing the Taiwanese offshore wind industry.”
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