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South Korea Awards First Offshore Wind Farm License

Korea's first license for an offshore wind farm
(file photo)

Published Aug 11, 2021 2:26 PM by The Maritime Executive

South Korea awarded the first license for a floating offshore wind farm to be developed in a partnership between Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) and TotalEnergies. With a maximum installed capacity of 1.5 GW developed across three phases, the project is projected to be one of the largest floating offshore wind developments in the world.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s Electricity Regulatory Commission granted the partners an Electricity Business License (EBL) for their offshore wind project to be located near Ulsan, Korea. The EBL grants the partners exclusive development rights to progress the project’s first phase, which will consist of 504 MW. Detailed environmental impact assessments will now commence on phase one, and construction is expected to start in 2024.

“The award of an EBL is a significant milestone in the development of GIG and TotalEnergies’ Ulsan floating offshore wind farm,” said Shin Jungwon. TotalEnergies’ Country Chair for Korea. “We recently completed our wind resource measurement campaign, and having now been awarded exclusive development rights, we’re looking forward to starting detailed environmental impact and engineering assessments.”

The wind farm is part of South Korea’s Green New Deal that calls for the construction of 8 GW of wind-generated power as part of its plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Through the project, GIG and TotalEnergies said they aim to help deliver the Korean government’s Green New Deal, revitalize local economies, and support high-skilled employment opportunities. The partners are committed to utilizing the local supply chain whenever possible and are actively collaborating with shipbuilders and heavy industry companies in Ulsan to help revive Korea’s offshore industries.  

“With its fantastic infrastructure and offshore experience, Ulsan is the perfect location for floating offshore wind development. That’s why GIG and TotalEnergies are joining hands with Korea’s world-class shipbuilding and offshore industries to deliver this market-leading project. By bringing together specialist local know-how with GIG and TotalEnergie’s global expertise, the Ulsan project will place Korea at the forefront of the global floating offshore wind market,” said Woojin Choi, Managing Director, GIG Korea.

Once operational, the full 1.5 GW project is expected to produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of over 1.5 million households and reduce emissions by approximately 2.3 million tCO2e per annum.

It is also the first of several projects the partnership is seeking to develop. GIG and TotalEnergies also recently submitted a bid into Scotland’s latest offshore wind leasing round, ScotWind, and secured rights to develop the 1.5 GW Outer Dowsing Offshore Wind project off the east coast of England.