Taiwan brings first phase of island’s largest PV plant online

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Taipower has connected 14 MW of new PV capacity to the grid this week. The project is the first part of a 100 MW power plant announced by the utility earlier this year. According to Taipower, the rest of the project is set to come online in February 2019.

The project is located on a 140-hectare plot at Changhua Coastal Industrial Park in central Taiwan, in the region which Taipower claims has the highest solar irradiation in all of the island, and where the utility had previously planned to build a coal power plant.

Taipower invested NT$6.2 billion (US$200 million) in the project, which it says will also be the first PV plant on the island to incorporate energy storage once completed.

Local ICT company Chunghwa Telecom is working with Taipower on construction of the plant, which will utilize around 339,000 modules from an unnamed Taiwanese manufacturer. The island’s cell and module manufacturers have struggled to keep up with production cost reductions achieved in mainland China, and are now relying on Taiwan’s commitment to install large amounts of PV in the next few years for their survival.

Taipower has further plans to build a 150 MW PV plant at the site of a former salt mine in Taiwan, and to install 11.3 MW of rooftop solar on its own buildings. Taiwan has set itself the ambitious target of building 20 GW of PV capacity by 2025, which recent reports suggest it is on track to achieve.