HK Electric plans to develop an offshore wind farm southwest of Lamma Island in support of the government’s goal of achieving net zero electricity generation and carbon-neutrality by 2050. Application for variation of an environmental permit for the proposed project has been approved by the Environmental Protection Department to allow for the use of more effective wind power generation technology.
With this amended environmental permit, issued in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance, the wind farm project will be included in HK Electric’s next five-year development plan (2024 - 2028) and submitted for government approval. A smooth implementation will see tendering commence in 2024 for scheduled commissioning in 2027.
The proposed wind farm, covering an area of approximately 600 ha., is located approximately 4 km away from Lamma power station and will have a capacity of approximately 150 MW. Depending on the capacity of the wind turbine model to be selected, approximately 13 - 19 wind turbines, each of 8 - 12 MW, will be built. The overall upper tip height of the wind turbines will be between 198 - 271 m above mean sea level.
HK Electric had been collecting wind data in the selected site for many years. According to findings by independent consultants after reviewing recent data, the selected site has sufficient wind resources with an average wind speed of approximately 7.1 m/sec, which is also higher than the average wind speed recorded by the Hong Kong Observatory at the Waglan Island Meteorological Monitoring Station. This makes the selected site an ideal location for wind farm development.
HK Electric’s Managing Director, Mr. Wan Chi-tin, said: “To achieve carbon-neutrality to combat climate change, HK Electric fully supports the government’s zero-carbon electricity goal. Apart from increasing gas-fired generation, we have been exploring the development of renewable energy on a wider scale in Hong Kong,” he said, pointing to the construction of the offshore wind farm as an important step to help the city achieve net zero electricity generation.
Mr. Wan noted that the proposed wind farm will produce approximately 400 million units of zero-carbon electricity a year, which is around 4% of HK Electric’s total electricity output, enough for the annual use by approximately 120 000 households (based on 275 units a month), and saving approximately 284 000 t of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
HK Electric plans to include the wind farm project in the next five-year development plan (2024 - 2028) for government approval, upon which ground investigation and tendering works will begin, followed by foundation and wind turbine installation in mid-2025, and commercial operation in 2027.
Mr. Wan highlighted the significance of the wind farm project as it marks an important step on the company’s net zero electricity journey. Not only does it help to achieve the target of carbon-neutrality, it can also boost the proportion of renewable energy in Hong Kong and help manage the emissions of air pollutants.
Meanwhile, valuable experience can be obtained for future opportunities in operating large scale renewable energy infrastructure, as well as economic benefits in creating opportunities for energy, construction, and tourism industries, he added.
HK Electric obtained the environmental permit for the wind farm project back in 2010. With the substantial improvements in offshore wind power generation technology, the generation unit design originally proposed became outdated. Therefore, an application for variation of the environmental permit was recently submitted and approved, confirming that the adjustments will not constitute material changes to the environment in respect of water quality, marine ecology, fisheries, or operational noise impact, etc.
HK Electric has set up a stakeholder liaison group with representatives from fisheries organisations, environmental groups, and academic institutions, together with individuals and organisations concerned with energy issues and sustainable development. Regular meetings will be held to provide a consultation platform and to collect feedback from different stakeholders on the design, construction, and operation of the offshore wind farm project.
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Read the article online at: https://www.energyglobal.com/wind/09052022/hk-electrics-wind-farm-project-secures-environmental-permit/