Taiwan Power Company and two private developers will be awarded the first three offshore wind power pilot projects in Taiwan this summer, a senior official in the Ministry of Economic Affairs' Energy Bureau told Windpower Offshore. Some 20 developers have already expressed an interest in developing projects in Taiwanese waters, he said.
Jin-Sheng Su, director of the bureau's energy technology division, said each of the pilots would use two turbines of at least 3MW capacity. Located in waters between 5 and 20 meters deep, the turbines will use either monopile or jacket foundations. They should come online in 2015.
The Taiwanese government is subsidising the demonstration projects to the tune of TWD 250m ($8.3m) each for the planning phase, and for 50% of the construction cost. As offshore wind technology advances, Jin-Sheng said, he was confident no subsidies would be necessary for future projects.
Taiwan is planning to have three offshore projects of 100-200MW each online by 2020.
Offshore wind power will not displace conventional energy technologies currently in use in Taiwan, which include coal, liquefied natural gas, nuclear and hydropower plant, but help satisfy the country's growing demand. Taiwan has no power connections with other countries.