Return to search

Taiwanese county in $15bn green push

A local utility and two international developers have their eyes set on wind and solar projects in Changhua, the latest investors to be scouting the island for large-scale renewables deals.

The Changhua county government of Taiwan has signed two memorandums of understanding this week calling for investments of up to 487 billion Taiwan dollars ($15.1 billion; €14.5 billion) in the county's renewables sector. 

Under the first MoU, Canada's Northland Power and Singapore-based Yushan Energy are to invest a combined 157 billion Taiwan dollars in Changhua, which is located on the west coast of the island and endowed with a windy clime. 

The wind developers have selected two sites in the area to co-develop an offshore wind portfolio of 1.2GW. The first phase of the project, named Hai Long Wind Farm, will result in an installed capacity of 700MW and supply electricity to the local grid. It is currently awaiting the outcome of an environmental study. 

The other MoU, signed on Tuesday, calls for state-owned power utility Taiwan Power Company (TaiPower) to invest 200 billion Taiwan dollars in wind and solar projects in Changhua. An additional investment of 130 billion Taiwan dollars will be earmarked for offshore wind should the utility secure the rights to develop the No 27 wind farm. 

The Taiwanese utility plans to develop 100MW of ground-mounted solar and 16MW of onshore wind with its proposed 200 billion Taiwan dollar investment. It is also looking to build an offshore wind portfolio in Changhua that will deliver about 1GW of offshore wind power in two phases. 

The exploration area off the coast has a potential of up to 4GW of total wind capacity, which would require investment of up to 1 trillion Taiwan dollars, according to the county government. It said six local and international developers have been working on developing offshore wind projects in the area. 

Last month, Danish utility Dong Energy set up an outpost in Taipei and announced plans to develop four offshore wind farms in Changhua with a combined capacity of about 2GW. The company looks to commence construction in 2021-2024. 

Other renewable energy investors have recently been exploring the young Taiwanese renewables market. In July, Swiss-based Partners Group also teamed up with Cathay Life Insurance, the island's largest insurer, to invest more than $200 million in a greenfield solar power platform. 

Taiwan's renewables was given a big boost earlier this year when the new administration committed to promoting the industry via an updated renewables target. The government aims to install 3GW of rooftop solar, 17GW of ground-mounted solar, 1.2GW of onshore wind and 3GW of offshore wind by 2025.