Energy Taiwan Interview: As the largest EIA-approved offshore wind project after 2025, with capacity of up to 2GW, Formosa 3 eagerly awaits next round of offshore wind grid allocation
2020-11-11 9:30

Taiwan’s offshore wind sector has entered a new chapter as Phase 3 of grid allocation, is scheduled to begin in 2021. Various wind project developers presented their latest proposals for offshore wind farms at this year’s Energy Taiwan that was held from 14-16 October at Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, Hall 1.

As the largest EIA-approved offshore wind project after 2025, Formosa 3 will be able to generate enough green electricity to power 1.5 to 2 million Taiwanese households when fully operational. The project has undergone thorough planning early on and is ready to commence development.

Located 36-62 kilometers off the coast of Changhua County, Formosa 3 comprises three separate sites designated as Haiding 1, Haiding 2, and Haiding 3, with a total potential capacity of up to 2GW. The project already passed the EIA in 2018 and is now at the zonal development stage.

Formosa 3 is an offshore wind farm jointly developed by JERA, Macquarie’s Green Investment Group and EnBW AG. JERA holds 43.75% of the project, while GIG and EnBW hold 31.25% and 25% respectively. The team is now eagerly preparing to pursue capacity in Taiwan’s next round of grid allocation.

Matthew Green, Project Director of Formosa 3 and Senior Wind Power Project Director, Macquarie’s Green Investment Group, said the three partners together make up a very strong team as they each brings a complementary set of strength to the project. Green Investment Group has supported 18 wind farms globally and are able to bring unparalleled track record in offshore wind to Taiwan. In addition, GIG and JERA, both parties have practical experience in supporting Taiwan offshore wind sector, including the 128MW Formosa 1, Taiwan’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm, and 376MW Formosa 2 wind farm, which is currently under construction.

EnBW AG is a leading provider of integrated total solutions for energy and has a corporate history that stretches a century. It recently completed Hohe See and Albatros, which are the largest offshore wind farms to date with a joint capacity of 610 MW in Germany. The three partners have deep international experience and technical expertise, and are committed to developing and supporting the local supply chain since the early development of Taiwan’s offshore wind industry.

The Bureau of Energy has established a three-phase strategy for fostering the growth of the domestic offshore wind sector. This approach is known as “first demonstration, then potential, and later zone”. Phase 1 is the setup of a demonstration project with the help of incentives. This is then followed by Phase 2, which involves explorations of potential sites and formulations of development proposals. Finally, Phase 3 is the zonal development process that allocates generation capacity.

Owing to the early successes of Phase 1 and 2, the formation of a domestic supply chain for offshore wind farms has gradually taken off. Moreover, the preliminary rules for Phase 3 have been announced at the end of June, and the formal framework for capacity allocation is expected to happen in the fourth quarter. The developer selection and capacity assignment for the individual zones of Formosa 3 and other offshore wind projects might commence as early as the second quarter of 2021.

The government will be awarding 10 GW through the zonal development process between 2026 and 2035. Phase 1 and 2 provide the foundation for Taiwan’s offshore wind sector to achieve sustained growth over the long run because they help stimulate domestic demand and support the local supply chain. Eventually, talents and technologies in Taiwan will be mature enough to serve the whole Asia-Pacific. Markus Wild, Managing Director of EnBW Asia Pacific, said that Taiwan could become the center for offshore wind power in Asia if it can make the most of the experiences in the past three years to build up sectoral advantages and maintain market leadership.

According to the government’s plan, the short-term installation target for offshore wind power is 5.5 GW by 2025. Green expressed that Formosa 3 with its 2GW potential has a special significance. Once completed, this project will turn Changhua into an international hub for offshore wind power. There is high confidence that only the large scale of Formosa 3 will result in this kind of achievement for Taiwan. Takuto Kawamura, General Manager for Formosa 3 from JERA, has pointed out that Formosa 3 will likely be the champion of localization by its scales and the commitment of encouraging local supply chain participation.

The project has been actively exploring collaboration opportunities with potential partners of various sectors and seeking local suppliers’ participation areas such as wind turbine manufacturing, offshore substation and jacket foundations. Formosa 3 is committed to developing and supporting the local supply chain and enable them to become a global player.

Since Taiwan’s offshore wind sector is still at its infancy, there is strong demand for talents and experiences. Therefore, Formosa 3 is dedicating to localize Taiwan’s offshore wind talent and technologies. For instance, the project has participated in many programs and seminars hosted by colleges and universities to educate their students on various aspects of the offshore wind sector. The team also sponsored scholarships for "Power Grid School and Talent Development Alliance" formed by Industrial Technology Research Institute. In addition, EnBW also invited members of research institutions and non-profit organizations to its offshore wind operations in Germany for knowledge exchanges pertaining to construction and maintenance of wind farms.

Green further stated that the project not only relies heavily on local talents but is also dedicated to serving communities across Taiwan. By sharing its expertise and scale, Formosa 3 aims to energize Taiwan’s offshore wind and accelerate the supply chain development.

Formosa 3 participated in this year’s Energy Taiwan to introduce the project, its contribution to the growth of the offshore wind sector, and the benefits to the wider industry. From the perspectives of both project developers and suppliers, the event provided an important platform for better understanding of each other’s needs and sharing of industry knowledge. Moreover, the event promoted collaboration between international and domestic players in the sector, thereby furthering the goal of localization.

Energy Taiwan 2020 was held at Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, Hall 1 and ran from October 14th to 16th. The event focused on latest advances in solar photovoltaics, wind power, and energy storage. In addition to Formosa 3, the other major exhibitors included TSEC, Motech Industries, AUO, Win Win Precision Technology, Sysgration, TAYA Group, Mobiletron, Swancor Renewable Energy, Ørsted, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, and Hai Long Offshore Wind Farm Project.

As a major international trade show, Energy Taiwan provides the most comprehensive look at the supply chains of different renewable sectors. Recent editions of the event attracted tens of thousands of industry buyers at home and abroad. For more details about the various exhibitions, please visit the official website.

 (Photo credits: Formosa 3)