Taiwan’s Ministry of Economy has awarded 1900 MW of offshore wind capacity, kick-starting the country’s bid to develop a commercial offshore wind energy sector and harness its renewable energy resources. The government awarded 1 GW of capacity to German developer wpd, and a further 900 MW to Denmark’s Ørsted in the country’s first major offshore wind auction. The projects will be commissioned in 2021.

Ørsted will develop the 605 MW Changhua 1 and 295 MW Changhua 2 offshore wind farms, while wpd will build the 650-700 MW Yunlin wind farm and the 350 MW Guanyin project. Ørsted has also announced the final investment decision for the second phase of the Formose 1 offshore wind farm in Taiwan.

Martin Neubert, Executive Vice President and CEO of Ørsted Wind Power, said: “This is a breakthrough moment for offshore wind in the Asia-Pacific region. We’re proud to be trusted with this important and large assignment, which will be a landmark in Taiwan’s ambitious transition to renewable energy.”  Ørsted added that the next steps for its Changhua projects will be to obtain the establishment permit and to secure the feed-in-tariff by signing a power purchase agreement with Taipower.

In a statement wpd said that the Yunlin project would be built 8 km off the coast of Yunlin County, while the Guanyin project would be positioned 2 km from the coast of Taoyuan County. Achim Berge Olsen, Managing Director of wpd offshore GmbH, said that the company would “now concentrate on tying together contractors, banks and investors” for the projects.

Ørsted’s Formosa 1 wind farm is Taiwan’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm, located in Chunan Town, Miaoli. The second phase will add 20 wind turbines with a total capacity of 120 MW to the wind farm’s existing 8 MW.