Perhaps I just haven’t been keeping up with wind power news, but I was surprised to discover this morning that China has just installed its first offshore wind farm and – guess what – it’s off the shore of Shanghai. Called Shanghai Donghai Bridge, it’s a 102-megawatt system and it’s planning to come online this month, right before Expo.
Not only is this the first offshore wind farm for China, it’s also the first offshore wind farm outside of Europe, which means that if China is having a green race with the U.S., they’ve passed this little hurdle first. After all, what’s the U.S. building? Oh yeah, offshore oil rigs.
Sinovel, the company producing the turbines, had this handy little fact sheet about our new energy providing neighbors:
It is located in the administrative waters of Shanghai east of the Donghai Bridge, 8-13km from the shoreline, with an average water depth of 10 meters. The project has the total installed capacity of 102 MW, using 34 Sinovel 3 MW offshore wind turbines. The annual power output is expected to reach 260 million kWh, able to meet the needs of over 200,000 Shanghai households. The electricity will be transmitted through the submarine cable to mainland Shanghai. The project will save 100,000 tons of coal each year and reduce the carbon dioxide emission by 200,000t.
Well, it’s good to know that at least the wind power
part of the original Dongtan eco-city project on Chongming Island was able to be completed. The rest of Dongtan was supposed to be finished by Expo time, but proved to be not much more than a pipe dream. While China’s announcement that it will install 514 megawatts of offshore wind over the next three or four years sounds just as ambitious as the failed green town, hopefully this first step means this will actually happen.