Ørsted awarded 900 megawatts grid capacity for changhua offshore wind project cleantechnica electricity definition


Danish wind energy giant Ørsted has been awarded the right to connect 900 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind capacity to Taiwan’s power grid from the company’s Changhua offshore sites in a move which will deliver the first large-scale commercial offshore wind projects in the Changhua region.

Taiwan has been a recent hotbed of offshore wind development activity and is quickly shaping up to not only be the location for several new offshore wind farms but also a potential inroad into the greater Asia region. Offshore wind companies such as Ørsted, MHI Vestas, and Siemens Gamesa have all turned their attention toward the East Asian island. Earlier this month Siemens Gamesa was awarded the supply contract for 120 MW of wind turbines for the expansion of Taiwan’s landmark Formosa 1 offshore wind project.

While Siemens Gamesa will supply the wind turbines, the Formosa 1 project is also part-owned by Ørsted — which confirmed final investment in the project last week — and which also announced on Monday that it had been awarded 900 MW worth of Taiwanese grid capacity for the Changhua region in the country’s west. After what Ørsted called “a thorough and comprehensive grid allocation process” the company was awarded the right to connect 900 MW of offshore wind capacity to Taiwan’s power grid from two projects, the 605 MW Changhua 1 offshore wind farm and the 295 MW Changhua 2 offshore wind farm.

Ørsted has been developing the Greater Changhua offshore wind project for a while now and has been building itself a local supply chain, signing Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with potential construction and development parters, including signing two MoUs with Taiwanese steel structure manufacturers — Century Wind Power and China Steel Corporation — in November. The company obtained site exclusivity on four offshore wind sites located between 35 and 60 kilometers from the shore of Changhua County which, all told, have a total capacity of 2.4 gigawatts (GW).

The 900 MW grid capacity allocated to Ørsted means that their sites have a remaining 1.5 GW that the company hopes will be allocated across three projects in future auction rounds. Specifically, the Taiwanese government has announced that it expects to award as much as 2 GW worth of offshore wind capacity in June, so it won’t be long until we know the extent of Ørsted’s near-term Taiwanese offshore wind capacity — and likely the potential for other companies as well.

“This is a breakthrough moment for offshore wind in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Martin Neubert, Executive Vice President and CEO of Ørsted Wind Power. “We’re proud to be trusted with this important and large assignment, which will be a landmark in Taiwan’s ambitious transition to renewable energy.”

“We’re honored by the grid allocation results announced today,” added Matthias Bausenwein, General Manager for Ørsted in Asia-Pacific. “Ørsted is fully committed to deliver world-class wind power plants for Taiwan on time to accompany the ambitious green energy targets in Taiwan. We’ll collaborate closely with central and local governments, and, as outlined in our grid application, we’re determined to build up the local supply chain, engage in local communities and transfer knowledge to Taiwan while developing local talent.”