Taiwan recently doubled its offshore wind energy capacity by launching operation of 111 turbines in the Greater Changhua 1 and 2a fields off the island’s west coast. But the 900-MW installation is a stepping stone in the country's ambition to have 15 GW of offshore turbines operating by 2035. The Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs has reportedly received six bids for the next roughly 3-GW wave of development, set to commission in 2029. 

Among hopefuls for this auction is Denmark's Orsted A/S, already a big player in the Taiwan market, which owns 50% of the 605-MW Greater Changhua 1 field, with the rest divided equally between Canadian pension fund and infrastructure developer Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec and locally based Cathay PE. Orsted has full control of the 294.8-MW Changhua 2a field.

Most of $2.3 billion raised by the Greater Changhua 1 team, mainly from a large international lender consortium, covered design, construction and commissioning, according to Orsted. Loans were supported by export credit agencies in Denmark, the U.K., the Netherlands South Korea and Canada.

Orsted contractors started offshore installation of the Changhua projects about three years ago with the last foundation placed in August 2022. All turbines began generating power this month.

Taiwan's weather allows construction only for about six months per year, a schedule further constrained by typhoons last year, according to Taiwan ministry officials. But it still recorded a total of 283 turbine installations last year, raising national offshore capacity to 2.25 GW, achieving its target. This year's goal is to install 314 to 374 turbines, totaling about 2.56 to 3.04 GW.

On its trajectory to 15 GW of offshore capacity, the ministry allocated around 3 GW for its first auction in 2022, according to the international law firm Baker McKenzie. The current auction covers a similar amount. 

To accelerate development in the current round, the government raised the maximum capacity for the first-ranked developer from 500 MW to 900 MW and to 700 MW for the second, according to the law firm.

Meanwhile, Orsted is building the 920-MW Greater Changhua 2b and 4 offshore fields, having secured their development rights in 2018. The company plans to start generating wind by the end of 2025.

Orsted also co-owns and operates Taiwan’s first offshore wind farm, Formosa 1, which was enlarged from 8 MW capacity to 128 MW in 2019.