Offshore wind farms
Offshore wind farms in Taiwan
Until recently, most large offshore wind farms have been constructed in Europe. Construction activity has now also started to pick up in Asia, particularly in Taiwan. Swiss Re Corporate Solutions is currently involved in this growing market with two projects. One of them is the Formosa 1 OWF Phase 2, owned by Formosa Wind Power. Building on a successful pilot with two wind turbines generating 8 MW, the project is now into its second phase. This comprises the construction of 20 turbines with a total capacity of 120 MW. Distanced two to six kilometres from Taiwan’s north-western coast, the wind farm will be able to supply approximately 85 000 homes with clean energy, cutting CO2 emissions by 170 000 tonnes per year (data as provided by www.4coffshore.com).
In 2018, we also agreed to provide insurance protection to the Changhua Demonstration Offshore Wind Farm, owned and developed by the Taiwan Power Company (Taipower, www.taipower.com.tw/en). It is located between 6.7 and 8.7 km off the Taiwanese east coast and will consist of 21 wind turbines generating a total capacity of 110 MW. This will be sufficient to power approximately 77 000 homes and avoid 156 000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Pilot projects with floating structures
Offshore wind farms are not just evolving in terms of geographic location but also technologically. So far the large majority of wind farms has been built as fixed structures. However, floating structures have a much larger technical potential globally, since they are suitable for deep-water environments and can offer significant cost reductions. Swiss Re Corporate Solutions takes an interest in this evolving technology and has been involved in several pilot projects using floating structures, all of them in Europe. These pilots have the purpose of demonstrating both the technological and the commercial feasibility of floating windfarms.
Offshore wind farms pose complex risks. We have the technical expertise and financial capacity to offer effective risk transfer solutions to our clients in this important renewable energy sector.
One of the earliest projects we insured is the Hywind Scotland Pilot Park. It comprises five wind turbines generating a total capacity of 30 MW. When fully operational, it is predicted to power approximately 21 200 homes and avoid 43 000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year (compared with fossil fuelled power generation). Another, newer project is the Kincardine Offshore Windfarm (pilot-renewables.com) off the Aberdeenshire coast. We have provided insurance cover for its initial phase, which used just one turbine. Kincardine will be expanded to seven turbines with a total capacity of 50 MW. It is expected to power approximately 35 400 homes and avoid 71 500 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.