Marshall Islands president visits Taiwan's floating solar farm

2018/07/31 17:57:50 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Marshall Islands president visits Taiwan's floating solar farm

Taipei, July 31 (CNA) Marshall Islands President Hilda C. Heine visited a floating solar power installation at Tainan Science Park in southern Taiwan on Tuesday and outlined her goals for alternative energy in her country.

Accompanied by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Heine toured the solar farm in the science park's Tree Valley Park, a multipurpose complex that manufactures LCD televisions.

In a statement released by the Presidential Office, Tsai said President Heine is hoping that alternative energy will supply 20 percent of the electricity demand in the Marshall Islands by 2020.

It is a "very ambitious goal," Tsai said in the statement, adding that Taiwan has the technology to develop alternative energy and is "willing to help the Marshall Islands achieve its goal by providing technologies and resources."

Tree Valley solar farm, by far Taiwan's largest floating photovoltaic power system, was established jointly by the Tainan City government and a subsidiary of AU Optronics that is dedicated to renewable energy development, according to the Presidential Office.

In a briefing, acting Tainan Mayor Lee Meng-yen (李孟諺) told the two presidents that the system has an installed capacity of about 6 megawatts, can generate up to 8 megawatt hours of power per year and helps reduce carbon emissions by 4,500 tons a year.

In addition, the detention pond on which the system sits can help prevent and control flooding, Lee said, touting the solar farm's multiple functions, including electricity generation, environmental protection, and income for the city's coffers.

Lee said the city earns NT$4.45 million (US$145,000) per year from rental of the site.

After the briefing, Lee told the press that the Marshall Islands delegation appeared greatly interested in the solar power system and expressed the hope that Taiwan would provide technical assistance to build photovoltaic power systems in that country.

(By Yang Sze-rui and Elizabeth Hsu)

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