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PROJECT | Staff Reporter, Taiwan

Taiwan is building small-scale power grid in Qimei

It will generate 3.37MW of electricity by 2019.

Taiwan's Central News Agency, the Central Government is building a power grid on one of the islands of the Penghu Archipelago to generate wind and solar energy to serve as a model for other outlying island communities.

The government hopes this will meet the goal of having up to 45 percent of Qimei Township's electricity generated from renewable energy sources by 2019.

The state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) is now building a small-scale power grid in Qimei to generate solar and wind power as part of the government's ongoing National Energy Program (NEP).

The project is aimed at generating about 3.37 megawatts of electricity by 2019 for the 4,000 households on the small island, according to a Taipower statement.

Chen Chao-shun, chief coordinator of the second phase of the NEP, told CNA during a recent interview that at present, Qimei's electricity is generated by four diesel-powered generators, which is extremely costly, as power generated from diesel fuel costs NT$16 (US$0.53) per kilowatt hour (kWh),

He said that Qimei and other Penghu islands are perfect locations for developing renewable energy solutions, as the archipelago's wind is strongest in fall and winter, while daylight hours are greatest in summer.

Taipower and the government-run second phase of the NEP, therefore, chose Qimei as the location for a trial run of the recently launched small-scale power grid construction project, he noted.

According to Taipower statistics, the construction of photovoltaic installations in the township could generate up to 410 kilowatts peak (kWp) and 300 kWh of energy storage capacity by the end of this year.

The capacity could translate into about 6 percent of the township's total electricity needs per year, Chen said.

Taipower's plan is to increase the capacity of renewable energy installations to 600 kWp, while the power storage system for renewable energy is to be expanded to 2,000 kWh by 2019, he said.

Replacing diesel-engine generated energy with green energy sources could save an estimated NT$53.92 million per year, according to Taipower's calculations.

Chen noted that the project on Qimei is using the experience of Denmark's Samso Island, which is 100 percent wind powered.

The island receives all of its electricity from 11 wind turbines, providing 150 percent of its current demand, with the surplus sold to other European countries, according to Chen. 

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