WeatherRisk Explore Inc. held a press conference on “The Collaboration of Bird Survey
in Yunlin Offshore Wind Farm” in Taipei on May 27, 2020, and announced that Yunneng Wind Power Co., Ltd. (wpd Taiwan) and WeatherRisk Explore Inc. have signed a bird survey turnkey contract during the operation of the Yunlin Offshore Wind Farm, with a total of nearly NTD$ 70 million.
The Yunlin Offshore Wind Farm was developed by wpd Group and is currently the largest single offshore wind farm in the Asia-Pacific region, with a total construction budget up to NTD$ 94 billion and a total capacity of 640MW. wpd Group attaches great importance to the ecology around the offshore wind farm and during March of this year, the Group officially commissioned the WeatherRisk Explore Inc. to be responsible for the long-term and continuous bird surveys of the offshore wind farm to understand the relationship between the wind farm’s operations and the surrounding bird ecology.
From left to right, Angela Chou, Senior Business Development Director, Offshore APAC, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Offshore Wind Limited, Ru-Ping Gao, Chairwoman, Taiwan Renewable Energy Alliance, Sun-Han Hung, Legislator, Legislative Yuan, Taiwan, Yun-I Wang, Chairman, wpd Taiwan, Wen-Sheng Tseng, The Deputy Minister, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan, Dr. Chi-Ming Peng, CEO, WeatherRisk Explore Inc., Chen-Wei Yu, Director General, Bureau of Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan, Dr. Tze-Luen Alan Lin, Deputy Executive Director, Office of Energy and Carbon Reduction, Executive Yuan, Taiwan, and Dr. Tzung-Su Ding, Professor, School of Forestry & Resource Conservation, National Taiwan University.
A number of representatives from the industrial, government, and academia sectors were present for the event. People such as Wen-Sheng Tseng, the Deputy Minister, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan, Chen-Wei Yu, Director General, Bureau of Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan, Sun-Han Hung, Legislator, Legislative Yuan, Taiwan, Dr. Tze-Luen Alan Lin, Deputy Executive Director, Office of Energy and Carbon Reduction, Executive Yuan, Taiwan, Ru-Ping Gao, Chairwoman, Taiwan Renewable Energy Alliance, Dr. Tzung-Su Ding, Professor, School of Forestry & Resource Conservation, National Taiwan University, and Angela Chou, Senior Business Development Director, Offshore APAC, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Offshore Wind Limited were all present to witness the important milestones of this collaboration between domestic and international offshore wind power development and bird ecology surveys.
Wen-Sheng Tseng, the Deputy Minister, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan thanked wpd Group for its deep cultivation in the field and the recognition of Taiwan and Japan’s experts. He was also very pleased to see the international cooperation between Taiwan, Japan, and Germany. Yun-I Wang, Chairman, wpd Taiwan stated that she was very happy to be collaborating on bird surveys at the Yunlin Wind Farm and suggested the government should provide more support for local company to accumulate the economic strength; Chi-Ming Peng, CEO, WeatherRisk expressed gratitude and admiration for wpd Group and recognized that bird surveys at the largest wind farm has great significance, especially since it employs world-leading technology that can hopefully be applied to offshore wind farms in the future or even Stage 3 offshore wind farms, and to look at the development opportunities of offshore wind farms in Asian countries. Due to changes in monsoons in Asia, the northeast monsoon and southwest monsoon are essential to the migration of large migratory birds. Taiwan’s environmental conservation in recent years has been quite excellent as large-scale migratory birds have all migrated to Taiwan. A lot of world-exclusive advanced technologies have been used for this collaboration to better understand the impact of fans on birds and protect the ecological environment.
Achim Berge Olsen, Chief Operating Officer, wpd Group and Futoshi Osada, Director General, Japan Weather Association (JWA) made a special video speech. The wpd COO explained that even though some personnel and raw materials were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of localization policies have greatly reduced the impact. The COO has expressed high expectations for this collaboration with WeatherRisk and the Japan Weather Association. The Director General of the Japan Weather Association expressed that they were very honored to be the first Japanese company to participate in the Taiwan Offshore Wind Farm Bird Survey Project, and looks forward to the exclusive development of monitoring technology and possible development of AI technology to contribute to Taiwan’s offshore wind power. Famous domestic bird expert, Dr. Tzung-Su Ding, Professor, School of Forestry & Resource Conservation, National Taiwan University and Chung-Han Johnson Tsai, Project Manager, WeatherRisk introduced Wind Farm Bird Observation experiences and related technologies used in the project. Professor Ding specifically mentioned that the current survey is limited and needs to use fixed automated monitoring technology to enable 24-hour collection of relevant information.
WeatherRisk is Taiwan’s first and largest domestic weather company with multiple national weather forecast certificates. In addition to the well-known weather forecast and disaster prevention services, WeatherRisk has also actively invested in renewable energy forecasting and monitoring services in recent years. CEO, Dr. Chi-Ming Peng has collaborated with disaster prevention experts to publish Taiwan’s first-ever offshore wind farm risk practice book last year (2019), “Offshore Wind Farm Construction and Risks in Taiwan.” The technologies used for conducting bird surveys at the Yunlin Offshore Wind Farm was a technical collaboration with the Japan Weather Association (JWA).
The JWA is Japan's largest and most significant weather forecasting company, and has many years of practical experience in the assessment of environmental impact. During the early development stages of Japan’s wind power industry, JWA began to diversify its market and obtained the highest market share in Japan in the wind power environmental impact assessment business. Its exclusive monitoring technology has achieved actual results in Japan. JWA has been cooperating with the Japanese Ministry of the Environment and other government units, and has even developed AI technology to improve monitoring accuracy.
WeatherRisk and the JWA have integrated Taiwan and Japan’s offshore wind farm experiences and bird survey technology resources to form a team with Taiwan’s local suppliers and bird experts, including NTU Professor Dr. Tzung-Su Ding to jointly conduct bird surveys during the Yunlin Offshore Wind Farm’s operational phase. This included system procurement, installation and operation, and Professor Ding's extensive and practical bird survey experiences will improve information identification opportunities. The system includes a high-performance radar, thermal imaging cameras, and sonic microphones. JWA has an exclusively developed system and analysis software that has been applied to offshore wind farms in Japan, and this collaboration between Taiwan and Japan will provide a comprehensive one-stop solutions.
This case is the first time since the development of Taiwan’s offshore wind farm industry where technical teams from Taiwan and Japan have collaborated to acquire a bird survey turnkey project. The team’s capabilities were recognized by wpd Group and also praised by wpd Germany’s technical team. The nearly NTD$ 70 million signing fee further demonstrates the importance of surveying birds around wind farms of wpd Group. This collaboration between Taiwan and Japan will allow them to form a team of professionals to develop offshore wind farms while also realizing the company’s responsibility for ecological and environmental protection. It is also an opportunity to create Taiwan’s industrial supply chain and promote talent training, which also includes GWO training, which helps the local industry’s long-term development. This is also a milestone in international collaborations and sustainable development of Taiwan's renewable energy industry. This collaboration is the result of all of the parties working together despite the COVID-19 pandemic.