The southern Chinese island of Nan’ao, in Guangdong province, 300 km northeast of Hong Kong will be home to China’s first offshore wind farm.

A joint venture between Dutch utility Nuon and the authorities of Shantou, a coastal city in northern Guangdong, is developing the 100 MW project. Developers Shantou Dan Nan Wind Power Co are already operating a 24 MW wind farm on Nan’ao and is developing five wind power projects in China, including two others in Guangdong. Financial details have not been disclosed.

Guangdong became the first Chinese province to introduce fixed prices for wind energy last year and China’s parliament passed a renewable energy law in February that sets tariffs favourable to of non-fossil energy sources.

The Energy Bureau of the State Development and Reform Commission has recently decided to establish a complete wind power generating industrial system by 2010 in a bid to stave off blackouts that currently plague the country.

The country’s wind power potential is estimated at a colossal 1 TW, although wind capacity currently is only 760 MW. The installed capacity of wind power is expected to reach 4 GW by 2010 and 20 GW by 2020.