Global offshore wind pacesetter Orsted plans to complete 1.9GW in wind generation capacity off the coasts of Taiwan by 2025, the Danish utility said at the inauguration of the island’s first commercial scale offshore wind farm.
Orsted is currently building the 900MW Greater Changhua 1&2a project, which it expects to commission in 2022.
The utility has also been awarded an additional 920MW for the nearby Greater Changhua 2b&4 project, which, subject to a final investment decision, is expected to be completed in 2025.
Orsted has just inaugurated the 120MW phase two of the Formosa 1 offshore wind farm, where two turbines with 8MW in capacity had already been spinning since late 2016.
“We're proud to inaugurate the very first commercial-scale offshore wind farm in Taiwan and the Asia-Pacific region,” Orsted’s offshore chief executive Martin Neubert said.
Matthias Bausenwein, president of Orsted Asia-Pacific and chairman of Formosa 1 added all the intensive efforts invested together with the utility’s joint-venture partners, local authorities, financial institutions and stakeholders had flourished.
The Danish utility at the beginning of this year was engaged in a months-long standoff with Taiwan’s government over support levels and at some point had declared all its offshore wind plans off the island on hold.
Only after the government in Taipei met the wind industry halfway in a revision of previously agreed upon feed-in tariffs, the company took an investment decision for Greater Changhua 1 and 2a, which will be the first really large offshore array Orsted is building in Asia.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) after the tariff row has increased pressure on offshore wind developers once more, warning foreign developers that they could be replaced by “second-tier candidates” if they fail to fulfil localisation targets set by the ministry.
Bausenwein, however, was confident that the 128MW Formosa 1 array marks the “first milestone” for Orsted’s expansion in Asia-Pacific.
“With this successful first step, we're confident that Orsted will continue to lead the growth of offshore wind in Asia.”
While Western developers still dominate the global market for wind at sea, continental Chinese companies such as China Longyuan or China Three Gorges account for a growing share of the market due to the rapid growth in China itself. They are expected compete head-on in Asia with Orsted and its Western peers such as RWE or Vattenfall.
Chinese companies are barred from operating in Taiwan, but can enter other promising markets in the region, such as South Korea, Japan or India.