South Korea

South Korea

196MW South Korean project announced

7MW turbines planned for wind farm off Ulsan

A 28-turbine near-shore wind farm with a capacity of 196MW is being planned by two of South Korea's biggest companies. Construction is due to start in 2015, with full commissioning likely in 2017. The project has yet to be approved by local regulators.

The offshore wind farm is planned for waters 2.5km off the city of Ulsan, on South Korea's south east coast. SK Engineering & Construction is to build it in partnership with the construction arm of electricity network operator, Korea Electric Power Corp (Kepco).

The project represents SK's first foray into offshore wind. The company is already active in energy infrastructure, having built both nuclear and LNG power plants.

Offshore wind has been rising up the country's political agenda, with South Korea's government keen to encourage domestic capacity. Up to 2.5GW could be built by 2019 in South Korean waters, according to a report based on data held by the country's Ministry of Knowledge Economy. Several areas have been identified for priority development, including waters off Jeju Island and off the west 'Yellow Sea' coast.

Manufacturers such as Samsung and Hyundai have shown an interest in both domestic and European markets. Samsung has a 7MW design that has yet to be tested, while Hyundai is working on a 5.5MW turbine that it says will be available from next year. Last year, seven manufacturers submitted offshore turbine design proposals to the South Korean government in a competition for funding aimed at supporting commercialisation.

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