Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has been named preferred supplier by wind energy developer Ørsted for its 900 MW Greater Changhua offshore wind power projects in Taiwan. The project includes approximately 112 units of the Asia- Pacific variant of the SG 8.0-167 DD direct drive offshore wind turbine, and the contract will include a service agreement. Subject to the agreement becoming a final contract, Siemens Gamesa will establish a nacelle assembly facility near Taichung Harbour. The facility is expected to be ready by 2021, ahead of the local content creation timeline set by the Taiwanese government.

Wind turbine towers for the projects will be supplied locally through the partnership between CS Wind and Chin Fong in Taiwan, meeting the official requirements for local content on wind turbine components. Offshore construction for the projects is scheduled to begin in 2021.

“Greater Changhua represents an extremely significant leap forward for SGRE in Taiwan. It will enable us to establish a nacelle assembly facility in Taichung Harbour by 2021 upon Ørsted’s request, and ahead of local content requirements as set by the Taiwanese government” commented Andreas Nauen, CEO of the Offshore Business Unit at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.

The WTG variant

The SG 8.0-167 DD offshore wind turbine variant for Asia-Pacific markets is intended to address local conditions across the region. Its design should ensure that the WTG is tailored to meet local codes and standards regarding typhoons, seismic activities and 60 Hertz operation, as well as operation in high and low ambient temperatures. It has a rated capacity of 8.0 MW, and a rotor with a 167-metre diameter. It has a swept area of 21 900 m2, and utilises SGRE B81 blades, each measuring 81.4 m. By 2020, more than 1000 SGRE direct drive offshore wind turbines will have been installed globally. “We’re creating workplaces in the short-, medium-, and long-term, and contributing to the positive growth story of renewable energy in the market,” commented Niels Steenberg, executive general manager of Siemens Gamesa Offshore for Asia-Pacific.

Matthias Bausenwein, Ørsted’s general manager for Asia Pacific, said: “Building large-scale wind farms in the offshore conditions of the Taiwan straits is a new journey for Ørsted. We’re delighted to work with Siemens Gamesa in adopting a typhoon-proof technology for [these] offshore wind sites. SGRE’s mature localisation plan was a key reason for selecting them as our preferred turbine supplier.”

The SG 8.0-167 DD platform

In September 2018, the first SG 8.0 167 DD prototype was installed and commissioned on schedule in Østerild, Denmark. Since being introduced seven years ago in 2011, the SGRE offshore direct drive wind turbine platform has accumulated the equivalent of 450 years combined operation. This 12.5 TWh of power generation is equal to the energy used by all households in Taiwan for three months.

Taiwan’s offshore programme

In April this year Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs awarded grid capacity to a number of offshore wind projects under the first process of its kind in Taiwan. The ministry awarded a total of 3836 MW of grid connection capacity to eleven offshore wind farms proposed by seven developers.

Of this, 738 MW is scheduled to be completed by 2020, with 3098 MW to be set up between 2021 and 2025. For 2020, 500 MW were initially planned to be added, but an additional 238 MW was allocated after a thorough review of the planning sites and applications, resulting in a total capacity of 738MW approved.

The list of projects released by the ministry shows that twelve projects were reviewed. Interestingly, Ørsted’s Greater Changhua North East site was not at that time listed as not receiving approval under this procedure.

Within two years, Taiwan is expected to see the first phase (360MW) of wpd’s Yunlin project (totalling 708MW) and Swancor/ Macquarie’s 378 MW Formosa 2 underway. The April list shows that approved to come online between 2021 and 2025 were wpd’s Yunlin II phase (348MW) and the 350 MW Taoyuan project, Ørsted’s Greater Changhua South East and 294.8 MW Greater Changhua South West projects, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners’ (CIP) 552 MW ChungFang and 48 MW Xidao, China Steel Corporation/CIP’s 300 MW Chungnan, Taiwan Power Company’s (Taipower) 300 MW Changhua second phase project, and Yushan Energy/Northland Power’s 300 MW Hai Long 2 offshore wind farm.

Aside from the FiT contracts awarded through this process, two projects had already been approved to come online in 2019/2020 as demonstration projects preceding further, commercial developments, namely the 120 MW second phase of Formosa 1, developed by a consortium comprising Swancor, Macquarie and Ørsted; and TPC’s (Taipower) 110 MW first phase of the Changhua project. This set Taiwan on a track that would end with the addition of 4066 MW of offshore wind by 2025.

By the beginning of 2018, nine developers had qualified for offshore environmental permits in Taiwan, offering 10.5 GW of offshore wind capacity in total. They have been competing for 5.5 GW of offshore wind contracts, including 3.5 GW being awarded through the feed- in-tariff process and the remainder awarded through a tendering procedure that was scheduled to take place later in the year.