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Wind charges blow

Hong Kong Standard – 6 Sept. 2011

CLP Power said its tariffs will rise 2 percent if it goes ahead with a plan to build a multibillion-dollar wind farm in Sai Kung by 2016.

The farm, which could cost between HK$5 billion and HK$7 billion, will provide electricity for around 80,000 standard households of four members each.

“The farm can improve air quality as it will save 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted annually,” corporate development director Lo Pak- cheong said.

“But renewable and clean energy is not cheap. Inevitably, we will have to pay more.”

CLP said the farm would have up to 67 turbines, each generating three megawatts of electricity, or 40 turbines of five MW each. It will be located nine kilometers from the Clearwater Bay peninsula and produce 200 MW of electricity a year. The total area is about 16 square kilometers.

Although located near Sai Kung, a spokeswoman said, electricity generated will not serve nearby residents. Instead it will enter the CLP electricity grid.

Project manager John Chan Kwan- wing said the site was selected to avoid the habitat of dolphins and undersea cables, and to minimize the impact on fishing.

CLP is also planning to install a mast in the southeastern waters of Hong Kong next year to collect data such as wind speed, waves, temperature, relative humidity and air pressure.

Chan said the mast will be installed by “suction caisson” which reduces dredging and piling, making CLP the first to apply this technology in Hong Kong.

He said the decision to use this technology is because of the unfavorably soft seabed. The installation cost of the mast is about HK$7 million.

Lo said there are challenges. For safety reasons, marine work has to be carried out when sea conditions are stable – between April and September.

“Unfortunately this coincides with the typhoon season,” said Lo, adding it is therefore important to accurately assess the weather and sea conditions.

Hongkong Electric earlier announced 28 to 35 wind energy generators in the southwest Lamma Channel. The offshore wind farm project is scheduled for completion by 2015.

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