Ninepins best for wind power
Guangdong ruled out by difficulty of exporting energy
The Ninepin Islands, off Sai Kung, are the best location for an offshore wind farm serving Hong Kong, say the two companies jointly studying the feasibility of the project.
Spokesmen for British-based renewable-energy consultant Wind Prospect and Hong Kong utility company CLP Power said that other options, such as building a wind farm in coastal Guangdong, would not be feasible despite the province's rich wind-energy potential.
Guangdong was too far from Hong Kong and much energy would be lost in the transmission to the city, the companies said at a briefing yesterday on the project first announced in February.
The two companies are considering erecting 50 turbines, with a capacity of 150 megawatts, at Ninepins.
Although it was recognised that Guangdong's coast was windier than the Ninepin Islands district, Wind Prospect's studies did not cover any likely sites across the border.
Wind Prospect general manager Alex Tancock said although it was worth exploring Guangdong's potential, he had reservations about importing green energy from wind farms across the border.
'It is not efficient as some energy will be lost in the transmission,' Mr Tancock said.
Chan Ka-keung, managing director of CLP Renewables, a CLP Group subsidiary, said it was difficult for Guangdong to export wind energy as the region suffered power shortages.
Dr Chan said offshore wind power was generally twice as expensive as that generated on land and far more costly than coal-generated power.
Mr Tancock said it was hoped to bring the cost of wind energy down to that of thermal energy.
'In New Zealand, the wind energy cost is the same as that of thermal energy. It surprises a lot of people,' he said.
The companies hoped to start construction on the islands by 2009 and begin power generation in 2011.