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Penghu County Gov't Plans to Found a Large Wind-Power Company

2011/03/23 | By Philip Liu

Taipei, March 23, 2011 (CENS)--The Penghu County government has decided to develop the offshore island into a “low carbon” island by establishing a large-scale wind-power company in mid-2011 whose shares will be open to subscription by county citizens.

The county government plans to raise NT$7.4 billion of capital for the projected company, dubbed “Penghu Energy Tech Co., Ltd.” (literal translation of the Chinese name), with planned capacity of 1.24 MW. Taipower and some foreign firms are reportedly evaluating the feasibility of taking part in the project.

Shih Yen-shiang, economics minister, and Wang Chien-fa, county magistrate, jointly unveiled the project yesterday (March 22).

Wang noted that the exemplary “international low-carbon island” idea is the conclusion of the county government concerning the direction of the county's future development, after county citizens turned down a proposal to develop casino business in a plebiscite.

Wang reported that by 2015, Penghu will derive 56% of its needed power from the renewable energy and will have excess power for provision to Taiwan. Taipower will invest NT$16 billion in installing submarine cables to facilitate mutual support between grids of Penghu and Taiwan. The central and the municipal governments will invest NT$8.09 billion in the project in the next five years together.

Penghu is suited to develop wind farm, since it's a windy island, with especially strong wind from northeast during winter. Therefore, investment returns for wind farms in Penghu will be 1.6 times that of Taiwan per se, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

Wang expected the project to be approved by the county assembly in June. The county government plans to own 49% stake in the company, with the remaining 51% open to subscription by county citizens and investors possessing related technologies. To encourage subscription by county citizens, they will be allowed to exchange their plots of land for the company's shares, for the installation of wind-power generating equipment, and will be given a free share for the subscription of one share.

The MOEA has raised the wholesale price for the purchase of wind power by Taipower to NT$2.61 per kilowatt/hour this year, up 9.67% over last year's level. In addition to Taipower, Enercon of Germany, the world's fourth largest wind-turbine assembler, Vesta of Denmark, TECO, and Chung Hsin Electric and Machinery, have also reportedly expressed interest in the project.