Phase 3 of offshore wind farm development begins

Posted on July 29, 2021

Taiwan has officially started the third phase of its offshore wind farm development, after the Ministry of Economic Affairs announced on Saturday that it is accepting applications for projects.

The ministry said that 15 gigawatts (GW) of capacity would be released in phases from 2026 to 2035, with the first phase allocating 3GW to the national grid from 2026 to 2027.

The draft rules for phase 3 were announced back in May, but a finalized map for “go versus no-go” zones was not released until Friday.

The map, which details sensitive areas, such as shipping lanes, fisheries and other possible obstructions, was finalized “with the input of relevant government departments,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that it would help guide developers in choosing the least controversial sites for their projects.

“Learning from past experience, we have communicated extensively to draw up a clear map,” the ministry said. “We hope that developers can avoid unnecessary costs by steering clear of sensitive areas.”

During phase 2 of Taiwan’s offshore wind development, the 350MW Liwei project off Taoyuan was canceled, despite coming in first in the selection process, due to aviation safety concerns.

The “red” zones include the islets of Pengjia (彭佳), Huaping (花瓶) and Mianhua (棉花) off northeastern Taiwan, north-south shipping lanes and Formosan white dolphin habitats along the western coast.

To minimize possible objections and to streamline the application process, projects would be approved by a cross-departmental panel before undergoing environmental impact assessment (EIA), the ministry said.

“To cut down on paperwork, the ministry has invited departments in charge of aeronautics, military, shipping safety, marine ecology, fisheries and mining rights to form a single panel to evaluate the suitability of a project before it can be sent to the Environmental Protection Agency for the EIA process,” it said.

Developers are responsible for drawing up the parameters for their projects and obtaining an EIA report ahead of a dual-stage process, in which the projects would undergo selection where they are evaluated for technical and financial viability, and projects that pass selection would undergo an auction, it added.

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