South Korea announces 2.5 GW offshore farm

The plan is to make South Korea the world’s third-largest country in terms of offshore wind power generation,” Kang Nam-Hoon, Head of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy’s energy and climate change policy division, was reported. The three-phase plan announced by the Ministry calls for the construction of a "proving area" by 2013 to test 20 5 MW turbines from South Korean manufacturers near Buan, North Jeolla Province and Yeonggwang, South Jeolla Province. Further 180 turbines of the same size will be installed by 2016 as “experimental complex”, followed by 300 machines by 2019, to generate a total capacity of 2,500 MW. The electricity will be supplied nationwide through substations in Gochang and Saemangeum in North Jeolla Province.

Ministry officials acknowledged that the project has been scaled down from a plan announced in September to build up to 1,000 wind turbines by 2019. It is also reviewing plans for smaller offshore wind farms in Jeju Island and other parts of the country. This announcement comes a few weeks after South Korea said it would invest US$ 36 billion over the next five years in developing renewable energy sources, as the country aims to reduce its heavy dependence on oil and gas imports while tackling greenhouse gas emissions.

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