Winds of change
State-owned nuclear giant aims to diversify beyond its traditional sector to offshore
State-owned nuclear power giant CGN is getting ready to diversify by tapping the mighty ocean winds.
China General Nuclear Power Corp said on Thursday its first offshore wind power project is in the final stages of going online — as it also unveiled its ambition to diversify to other businesses beyond nuclear power.
Located about 25 kilometers from the coast of the eastern part of Rudong in Nantong, Jiangsu province, the offshore wind project has 38 units with a combined capacity of 152 megawatts.
Chen Sui, chairman of CGN New Energy Holdings Co Ltd, said the project is expected to generate 400 million kWh per year when connected to the grid at the end of this year.
“The success of the project means that we have developed our own offshore wind project technologies following the development of those in Germany and the United Kingdom,” he said, adding the project meets the “double-10” standard, which requires offshore wind turbines to be installed in areas at least 10 kilometers offshore and at a water depth of at least 10 meters.
CGN’s Rudong project got final approval from the State Oceanic Administration in April 2015.
The latest move came after the consortium — led by CGN’s unit in Europe and the French new-energy firm Eolfi — won a tender in July for a floating wind farm in the sea off the island of Groix in the Atlantic coast of France.
The State-owned nuclear company said that the deal enables it to gain offshore wind technology, which can be applied in almost 70 percent of the global offshore wind resources.
CGN, the country’s biggest nuclear power plant operator which started to develop wind power business in 2006, has a total installed wind power capacity in operation of 8.9 gigawatts.
CGN is looking beyond its core business and plans to diversify into wind, solar and other renewables, because it will improve its overall competitiveness both at home and abroad, said Lu Jinyong, a professor at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.
“As many countries in Europe are now having second thoughts about nuclear power, which was once their only choice to generate power, nuclear companies have to diversify their businesses and plan ahead,” he said.