CLP Group

CLP's Sai Kung wind farm gains approval

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 August, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 August, 2009, 12:00am

The environmental chief has approved CLP Power's proposed offshore wind farm near Sai Kung, and required it to consult fishermen, hikers and green groups on the turbine design.

Director of Environmental Protection Anissa Wong Sean-yee issued an environmental permit to the company yesterday, but said it should set up a stakeholder liaison group within six months to consult parties on design, construction and operation.

CLP Power is also required to submit a fisheries enhancement plan, including deployment of artificial reefs, and ensure the wind farm will cover the smallest area and is as far away from the Ninepin islands as possible.

A company spokeswoman described the approval as an important milestone to realising renewable energy in Hong Kong. The next step is to install a wind mast at the site to collect wind and wave data, a process that is expected to take one to two years. The spokeswoman said that two-thirds of the 100 public responses the firm received expressed support for the project. CLP Power pledged to listen to public views as the feasibility study progressed.

The 200MW, HK$6.7 billion wind farm, proposed by the firm and British-based Wind Prospect, a renewable energy company, would be 10 kilometres off Sai Kung, with up to 67 wind turbines built on the muddy seabed 30 metres underwater.

The power generated would amount to about 1 per cent of the city's electricity demand and add about 2 per cent to electricity bills. Construction would take three years.

Young Ng Chun-yeong, chairman of the Association for Geoconservation, restated his view that the project would kill a bid to list a proposed geopark as a world natural heritage site. Greenpeace and the Conservancy Association welcomed granting CLP Power the permit, but Edwin Lau Che-feng, director of Friends of the Earth, remained sceptical of the cost effectiveness.