Offshore Wind Power Supplier Rumored to Have Taken a Fancy to the Sea Area of the Three Northern Islands; MOEA: Development Application Not Yet Submitted

published: 2020-12-11 18:30 | editor: | category: News

The coverage of media from several days ago had pointed out there has been a circulating rumor regarding an overseas offshore wind power supplier wanting to develop wind farms at the Three Northern Islands that comprise of the Pengjia Islet, Mianhua Islet, and Huaping Islet that are under the jurisdiction of Keelung, which triggered discussion and drew backlash. The Bureau of Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs, pointed out accordingly that this project is still at the preliminary planning stage, where the relevant supplier has yet to propose an official development application, and that the ministry will handle the application in accordance with the stipulated procedures, should the supplier submit application for approval subsequently.

Recent media coverage has indicated that the specific supplier wishes to establish 3 offshore wind farms at the offshore area of Keelung, which are the 2.6GW Heyi, 2.4GW North He’er, and 2.4GW South He’er that total to 7.4GW in capacity, and occupy approximately 300 km², with on-going online public announcement according to the regulations of environmental impact assessment. However, the relevant fishermen’s associations in the north coast have commented that the fishery in the area accounts for 2/3 of the market value for the industry nationwide, and that the development of offshore wind farms will severely impact the fishing operations, thus they strongly oppose the development of such project, whereas the Keelung City Government also commented that no developers have provided information on development or communicated with the local sector, and that all visitations will be refused.

In view of this, the Bureau of Energy explained that the MOEA will insist on the premise of a coexistence and co-prosperity between the offshore wind farm and the ecology, environmental protection, fishery, and the locals, then request the specific supplier, should it propose subsequent applications, to pass the environmental impact assessment and negotiate with the fishery in accordance with the regulations of the “Electric Industry Act” and the “Registration Regulations for the Electric Industry”, before obtaining the approval letter from relevant competent authorities such as the local government and the Council of Agriculture, as well as the development rights for the block development phase that give the green light to proceed with the development.

MOEA emphasizes that the site application for the 3rd phase of block development is not yet available, and that the specific supplier has yet to submit an official application. Even if an application is submitted, the supplier will have to obtain the approval letter from relevant competent authorities, pass the environmental impact assessment (including procedures that allow local residents to express their opinions), as well as receive the approval from the local government, before initiating development installations according to the regulations.

MOEA is expected to announce the rules regarding the 3rd phase of block development for offshore wind power, and aims to establish 10GW of wind farms between 2026 and 2035, which has lured domestic and overseas energy suppliers, including the EIA-approved 2GW Formosa III formed with 3 overseas suppliers of shareholdings, including GIG, EnBW AG, and JERA, as well as the 4.4GB development project of Swancor at the offshore area of Miaoli.

 (Cover photo source: shutterstock)

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