Korea to Build Massive Offshore Wind Farms

      November 03, 2010 10:46

      Offshore wind farms capable of producing the same amount of electricity as two nuclear plants will be built on the southwest coast by 2019, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy announced Tuesday. They will be built with a W9.2 trillion (US$1=1,114) investment from the public and private sectors.

      The government wants Korea to become one of the top three countries in terms of offshore wind power generation.

      In the first phase, wind farms with 20 turbines each with the capacity of 5 ㎿ will be built near Buan, North Jeolla Province and Yeonggwang, South Jeolla Province to generate 100 MW electricity by 2013. Capacity will steadily increase to 900 MW by 2016, and 2,500 MW by 2019. The electricity produced here will be supplied nationwide through substations in Gochang and Saemangeum in North Jeolla Province.

      The ministry plans to accelerate the process through a negotiating body formed by power monopoly KEPCO and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power.  

      The ministry is also reviewing plans for smaller offshore wind farms in Jeju Island and other parts of the country.

      "Offshore wind power causes less destruction to the environment and generates fewer complaints from nearby residents, and plants are easier to build," a ministry official said. "If we could integrate it with relevant industries such as shipbuilding, heavy industries, offshore plant construction and information technology, we can compete globally soon."

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