South Korea Working on Grid Plan for 8.2 GW of Offshore Wind

KEPCO (Korea Electric Power Corporation) Research Institute, together with DNV as a technical advisor, is developing a long-term plan for a power grid that will enable delivering electricity generated by offshore wind to South Korea.

Illustration; Tamra offshore wind farm in South Korea; Image source: Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction (archive)

In February 2021, the South Korean government announced a KRW 48.5 trillion (EUR 34.8 billion) project to develop an 8.2 GW wind complex offshore Sinan County, South Jeolla Province. The project is planned to be completed by 2030, when it would become the world’s largest single offshore development.

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A few months after the giant offshore wind project was announced, the country’s president Moon Jae-in revealed the government would invest KRW 1.4 trillion (around EUR 1 billion) in the first phase of a project developing a 6 GW floating wind farm offshore Ulsan.

Under its Renewable Energy 3020 Implementation Plan, South Korea plans to develop 12 GW of offshore wind projects by 2030.

However, to deliver the electricity that offshore wind turbines will generate, grid integration has to be worked on in parallel, according to DNV.

Through the HVDC research project, scheduled for completion by mid-2025, KEPCO aims to expand its network along the western coast of South Korea and deliver power from high-capacity offshore wind farm sites to key demand centres in the country’s capital, Seoul.

Around 10 million people live in Seoul and half the country’s population lives in the greater Seoul area, which is also the country’s main industrial location, DNV pointed out.

As technical advisor, DNV will develop a conceptual design and routing plan to enable the technically and economically optimal integration of large-scale offshore wind to the grid. Suitable analysis models of offshore network systems will be proposed in order to investigate the optimal topology and design standards for the offshore system.

The company will develop system analysis models to study the design specification and optimal topology for gigawatt (GW) scale high-voltage direct current (HVDC) linkage technology to improve system acceptability and transferring capacity from offshore wind projects in the country’s southwest.

DNV will also estimate the costs of the proposed optimal integration plan to minimise the total investment needed for integrating offshore wind farms into the onshore power grid.

The KEPCO HVDC Research project is increasing our expertise and experience in this growing market segment in South Korea. It has taken a year of detailed discussion with KEPCO to define and secure the work. The project scope requires close cooperation with our European power grids team, which will lead to technology improvements and boost local knowledge on renewables-grid integration in South Korea”, said Dr. Yang Byeong Mo, DNV’s project manager.

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