South Korea Announces 3 Gigawatt Mega-Solar Park

  • The 3 Gigawatt Solar park will also include a 1 Gigawatt wind park located on the 409 square kilometers of reclaimed land at Saemangeum site.
  • The total investment amounts to US 8.8 billion.
  • President Moon confirmed the solar PV site should be commissioned by 2022.

Speaking at an economic summit held last week in Saemangeum, South Korea’s President, Moon Jae-in announced that the country will be building the world’s biggest solar park. The 3 Gigawatt Solar Park will also include a 1 Gigawatt wind park which will be constructed on 409 square kilometers of reclaimed land at Saemangeum site.

The government plans to invest US 8.8 billion in the development of the “mega-scale” solar and wind complex with a total of 4 GW generation capacity. President Moon confirmed the solar PV site should be commissioned by 2022.

Currently the world’s biggest solar park is the Tengger Desert Solar Park in China which is a 1.5 Gigawatt project. Egypt is planning the 1.65 Gigawatt Benban Solar Park near the city of Aswan in the South of Egypt however this project is yet to get some legs.

“One of the world’s biggest solar energy and offshore wind energy generation facilities will be built in the Saemangeum area,” said President Moon, visiting the region for the second time since his inauguration. “The renewable energy production in this area will be a turning point for Korea’s renewable energy business that will foster the nation’s competitiveness in the field.”

South Korea wants to generate 20% of its power from renewables by 2030. The country is working on installing 30.8 GW of solar PV by that date, with 9% of that capacity to be developed in Saemangeum.

“The sun of Saemangeum becomes the driving force of the development of the Republic of Korea. The breeze of Saemangeum will be a resource to open the future,” president Moon said.

The head of state admitted his country is lagging OECD standards for renewable energy generation, with the 8% share of energy provided by renewables in Korea comparing badly with the 25%, on average, generated by its peers – a figure he labelled “shameful”.

The Korean government reportedly wants to attract renewable energy businesses to invest in the free trade area, which the Seoul administration hopes to turn into a significant economic hub for northeast Asia. Saemangeum, which was reclaimed from the sea, offers generous tax breaks for companies which decide to establish production facilities there.

Last month, Saemangeum Development and Investment Agency (SDIA) announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Rena International for the investment of KRW55.5 billion, for the construction of a module assembly factory and storage system manufacturing plant. The project is expected to generate 120 jobs.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal 

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