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Total Invests in Taiwan Wind Project Supporting Focus on Renewables

Total entry into Asian offshore wind segment
Installation of the first turbin at Yunlin (Siemens Gamesa)

By The Maritime Executive 04-30-2021 05:05:34

French energy and gas giant Total announced that it agreed to invest in one of Taiwan’s largest windfarm projects, which is currently under construction and expected to begin production in 2022. The agreement provides Total with its first entry into one of Asia’s main offshore wind markets. Taiwan is one of the priority regions selected by Total for its development in offshore wind power in Asia. 

Under the agreement, Total will acquire a 23 percent stake in Yunlin Holding GmbH, the owner of the Yunlin offshore wind farm located off the coast of Taiwan from wpd, a wind farm developer based in Germany and majority owner of Yunlin. Total will be paying wpd based on its share of the construction costs to date.

The Yunlin project when completed will be one of the largest windfarms in Taiwan. It is located approximately 125 miles southwest of Taipei and six miles offshore. The windfarm will consist of 80 Siemens 8 MW turbines. Once on stream, the project will produce 640 megawatts (MW) of renewable electricity per year, enough to serve the power needs of 605,000 households. The project has a 20-year guaranteed-price power purchase agreement (PPA) with the state-owned company Taipower.

The tender to build and operate the Yunlin offshore wind farm was awarded in 2018 to wpd by the government of Taiwan. Construction began in 2019 with offshore work commencing in 2020. The project recently marked a significant milestone with the first of its turbines have been installed.  

“Taiwan has been a pioneer in developing offshore wind power in Asia,” said Stéphane Michel, President Gas, Renewables & Power at Total. “We are proud to contribute to the transformation of Taiwan’s energy mix and to enter into this first partnership with wpd, one of the leading independent developers of offshore wind power.”

Identified by Taiwan’s authorities as a key area in the development of renewable energies, offshore wind power will be a significant contributor to the objective of generating 20 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2025 while fostering the emergence of a local wind power industry. 

Last fall, Total said it planned to invest up to $3 billion annually as part of its objective of being among the world's top five in renewable energy. In addition to this investment in Taiwan’s wind energy business, the French company has been reported to be in talks with Chinese officials. At the end of 2020, Total's gross power generation capacity worldwide was around 12 GW, including 7 GW of renewable energy. The company's business plan calls for continuing to expand to reach 100 GW of gross production capacity from renewable sources by 2030 as part of its goal to produce 40 percent of its sales in renewables and electricity by 2050.