HONG KONG, July 3 — Hongkong Electric plans a 100MW offshore wind farm in Hong Kong waters, following the launch of the city’s first wind power project at Lamma Island earlier this year.
The company has submitted a project profile to the Hong Kong government for an environmental impact assessment (EIA) study brief to build an offshore wind farm at two potential sites: either 3.5km (2.2 miles) southwest of Lamma Island or 3.2km southeast of Ninepin Group, Kwo Chau Islands, Sai Kung.
The sites have been identified after taking into account factors such as wind potential, navigation channel, seabed utilities, marine conservation areas, water depths and proximity to Hongkong Electric’s power grid, said a Hongkong Electric press release.
“The project is undertaken in support of the Government’s policy of having 1-2% of electricity generated by renewable energy by 2012. As land resources are scarce in Hong Kong, the development of offshore wind farm is the only viable option,” said Hongkong Electric’s chief engineer (projects), Tso Che-wah.
“Our plan is to build a total of 40 triple-bladed wind turbines, each of 2.5MW, at the wind farm which can potentially generate about 175 million units of electricity every year. This is enough energy for about 50,000 families in Hong Kong, representing about 1.6% of Hongkong Electric’s electricity output in 2005,” he noted.
The EIA study will take more than a year and is expected to complete by end 2007, covering areas such as potential impacts on the environment, ecology and fisheries, both during construction and operation phases.
At the same time, layout configuration design and cable routing will be studied, after which detailed wind monitoring will be carried out.
“For the project to succeed, it must not only be environmentally acceptable and technically feasible, but has the full support of the Government and the community. The offshore wind farm will be ready for operation in 2012, based on the lead time required for the design, engineering, procurement, delivery and construction,” Tso said, adding that the investment cost will depend on the final choice of the site.
Tso expects the project to make significant contributions to the improvement of air quality in Hong Kong, as it is estimated to supplant the use of 62,000 tonnes of coal every year.
Earlier this year, the Company launched Lamma Winds, an 800kW pilot project at Lamma Island to gain practical experience in operating a wind turbine.