Taiwan’s monsoons mean that offshore wind power installations can be carried out only six months every year. Unfortunately, the proliferation of the COVID-19 pandemic in 1H21 has delayed most of these installations. Taiwan’s MOEA (Ministry of Economic Affairs) subsequently declared that a total of 429 MW in wind power will likely be installed this year, with the shortfall in capacity to be compensated for by the end of 2022.
For Taiwan, summers and winters are seasons of southwest and northeast monsoons, respectively. In consideration of weather-related constraints and the growth of Taiwan’s offshore wind power, the MOEA has implemented a flex policy that permits companies awarded contracts in 2019 to finalize the installation of 50% of wind turbines or 100% of underwater infrastructure planned for 2021 by year’s end while also allowing these companies to connect all of their wind turbines to the electrical grid next year.
The MOEA indicates that the wind farms expected to be built this year include the OWF Yunlin’s 320MW phase one wind farm, which is a stage two “potential zone” expected to be commercialized in 2020, as well as the 376MW Formosa 2. Two other demonstration wind farms to be completed in 2021 include the 128 MW Formosa 1 and the 190MW Taipower phase one. These aforementioned project collectively account for 933MW of capacity.
According to the MOEA, the Taipower phase one and OWF Yunlin wind farms each applied for deadline extensions in accordance with administrative contracts due to delays caused by the pandemic. After conducting thorough investigations, the MOEA has since confirmed that the causes for deferrals fall under either force majeure or non-attributable clauses and approved extensions for said wind farms. Hence, the above wind farms will be completed and connected to the grid by year’s end, with 429 MW of newly installed capacity, which, when combined with the completed 128 MW Formosa 1, yields 557MW of cumulative installed capacity.
Originally projected to have its underwater infrastructure fully built by the end of 2020, Formosa 2 has since been proven to be delayed by the pandemic. The project was extended through the end of June 2021. However, as the pandemic has shown no signs of slowing down, Formosa 2 indicated that it will apply for a second extension. Even so, even if the extension were approved, Formosa 2 would still be mandated to finish construction by the end of 2021.
In consideration of the pandemic’s impact on offshore wind energy installations, the MOEA has been assisting companies with risk mitigation via such measures as official pandemic-fighting measures for offshore wind power industry and the May 17, 2021 regulations regarding the entry of foreign ship workers into Taiwan in accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) for Severe Special Infectious Pneumonia.