Taiwan’s renewable energy supply is set to receive a shot in the arm as Formosa Solar’s Yu Shu Power subsidiary has wrapped up grid connection of its Pingtung Gaoshu photovoltaic demonstration area. Thanks to this project, previously non-arable lands that were frequent victims of illegal excavation and dumping underwent a total transformation and subsequently became a solar farm with a total installed capacity of 40 MW.
The Gaoshu photovoltaic demonstration area held its commencement ceremony on December 27. It should be pointed out that the power plant is Taiwan’s first photovoltaic demonstration area that was built on top of refilled excavation holes for concrete. As the local soil has long been sitting idle due to unsuitability for agricultural purposes, not to mention the years-long inappropriate excavating and dumping, the ground surface was left with holes aplenty. In order to fill these meters-deep holes, the Pingtung County government made use of earthworks materials from the Water Resources Agency’s dredging projects and took five years, to boot.
Totaling NT$2 billion in investments, the Gaoshu photovoltaic demonstration area located in Pingtung is home to nearly 40 MW of installed capacity. The installations are estimated to generate about 50 million watt hours of electricity per year, which is enough to power 13,000 households and offset about 25,000 tons of carbon emissions. In addition to reusing previously unusable lands, the rejuvenation process for the land across the next two decades will likely create about NT$1.3 billion of local investments and more than 200 job opportunities totaling a net worth of about NT$4.1 billion – certainly a win-win on multiple fronts.
Yu Shu Power has been processing the 112 sections of land in the aforementioned location, totaling 7 km in length and 37 hectares in area, for the purpose of installing photovoltaic power stations. According to Formosa Solar CEO Shao-De Zuo, the project was rife with difficulties, including insufficient cabling. Pingtung mayor Men-An Pan, on the other hand, also claimed during the commencement ceremony that the limited population of Gaoshu Township and, again, insufficient cabling, led the county government to partner with the Bureau of Energy and Taipower in search of a grid-connection solution in response. This, in turn, resulted in a solution that involves the establishment of six high voltage transmission towers as well as a switching station in Ligang Township.
Men-An Pan indicates that various branches of the county government have been hard at work evaluating the viability of installing 200 MW worth of agrivoltaics in the 160 hectares of non-arable land in Gaoshu in the future.
(Image: Formosa Solar)