Taiwan's government and Canada-based Northland Power have major ambitions for offshore wind as the global race to fight climate change picks up pace.

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The Taiwanese government last year doubled its previously stated plans for the next stage of its offshore wind buildout, with a goal to add 10 gigawatts of extra capacity from 2026 to 2035. That would take Taiwan’s overall sea-based wind fleet to 15.5GW.

Northland Power's Hai Long project in the Taiwan Strait will play a role in Taiwan's offshore wind expansion and will be developed across various grid allocations. When completed, the huge Hai Long project will total 1.044GW.

"By end of 2021, Taiwan will be the largest offshore wind market in Asia excluding (Mainland) China. This is the result of strong government support and planning for offshore wind since 2015," Robert Liew, a principal analyst with Wood Mackenzie, told Upstream.

Asia offshore wind ramps up

Taiwan held two rounds of offshore wind allocation in 2018 to award seven companies a total 5.5GW capacity for its first stage of large-scale development between 2019 and 2025.

But Mainland China is leading the way as Asia’s largest offshore wind market today, with the strongest pipeline of future projects.

"We expect Asia Pacific to add almost 70GW of new offshore wind capacity by 2030. (Mainland) China will take the largest share with at least 45GW of new capacity and Taiwan could add close to 10GW," Liew said.

Hai Long plans move forward

Owners of Taiwan's Hai Long project include independent power producer Northland Power with a 60% stake, and Asian players Yushan Energy and Mitsui, each holding 20%.

They have joined forces to develop the Hai Long 2 and 3 wind farms in zones 18 and 19 offshore Changhua.

The project's most recent tender involving offshore substations is said to be destined for Hai Long 2 and 3 stages, a project watcher told Upstream.

"The development of Hai Long 2 & 3 is progressing well," a Northland Power spokesperson said in an email reply to Upstream queries. "Project commissioning is expected by the end of 2025 and 2026 with (final investment decision) in the course of 2022."

Hai Long 2A will have a capacity of 300 megawatts, Hai Long 2B will have 232MW and Hai Long 3 an additional 512MW, according to the company’s website.

In addition to the ongoing Hai Long development, Northland said it is continuing to develop other offshore wind projects including the Chiba project in Japan and the Dado Ocean project in South Korea, and it has announced early stage works for Round 3 projects in Taiwan.

Key Hai Long contract in place

For the Hai Long project, offshore contractors recently submitted a new round of bids for engineering, procurement and construction of two offshore wind substations.

Previously, Belgian contractor DEME’s Taiwanese unit in 2019 signed a contract that involves engineering, procurement, construction and installation of foundations, cabling, transportation, and installation of turbines at Northland Power’s Hai Long 2&3 wind project offshore Taiwan.

DEME signed the so-called balance of plant preferred supplier agreement through CSBC DEME Wind Engineering (CDWE), which is a joint venture between Taiwanese shipbuilder CSBC Corporation and DEME Offshore.

DEME earlier said it will start offshore installation of Hai Long 2&3 in 2023.

(Upstream's Americas bureau chief Jennifer Presley in Houston contributed to this article.)