South Korea Will House 1.4 Gigawatt Floating Offshore Wind Farm

The $4.9 billion project will allegedly power a million homes.
Ameya Paleja

As part of its efforts to reduce carbon emissions, South Korea will get a 1.4 GigaWatt (GW) floating offshore windfarm. From a joint venture between oil and gas company Shell and a local company, the project is expected to power a million homes, a press release said. 

Affirming the Paris Agreement, South Korea declared its intentions to become carbon neutral by 2050. Heavily reliant on fossil fuels until now, the country plans to spend eight trillion KRW (US$ 7.1 billion) in projects that will help it move towards greener options, Reuters reported.

Part of its plans is the introduction of hydrogen cars, increasing adoption of electric vehicles, and shifting to renewable sources of energy production like offshore wind farms. However, according to a Foreign Policy report, the nation has run out of seabed space to place wind turbines and now needs to go deeper into the sea and work on the floating platforms to go green. The recent announcement is likely the step in that direction. 

The project dubbed 'MunmuBaram' translates to Moon Wind in English and is a joint venture between Shell Overseas Investments and CoensHexicon. The latter itself is also a joint venture between Korean energy company Coens and Swedish offshore floating wind power company Hexicon.

The floating wind turbines will be located at a distance of 40-50 miles (65-80 km) from the south-eastern city of Ulsan and cover an area of 93 square miles (240 sq. km) in waters 390-490 feet (120 - 150m) deep, said the press release. 

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Since August last year, the venture has installed three floating weather observers. Using the weather data collected, the venture will apply for permission to construct the floating platform this month. A final investment decision for this $4.9 billion project is expected later in this decade, Electrek reported. When completed, the project is expected to create 35,000 jobs, generate 4.65 Terrawatt-hour (TWh) of electricity that could power nearly a million homes and reduce 2.33 million tons of CO2 released every year, the project website said. 

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