South Korea’s First Commercial-Scale Offshore Wind Farm to Proceed

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South Korea’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm is moving forward with the project expected to begin construction and enter service by the end of 2024. Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, through its fund Copenhagen Infrastructure III, and its partner SK E&S reached financial close and are proceeding with the project as their first step toward developing the country’s offshore renewable energy industry.

Jeonnam Offshore Wind Power was founded in 2020 as a 51-49 joint venture between SK E&S and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and the project is expected to become the first Korean commercial-scale offshore wind farm to go into operation in 2024. The project has been developed by a joint team comprised of SK E&S and Copenhagen Offshore Partners, the exclusive offshore wind development partner to CIP.

The first phase of the offshore wind project, Jeonnam I, calls for a 99 MW offshore wind farm off the southwest coast of Korea. It is expected to provide green electricity equivalent to approximately 60,000 households in Korea.

The companies have been working through the process, helping South Korea to establish the framework for its offshore energy industry. Jeonnam Offshore Wind Power obtained an Electricity Business License in 2017 and entered a grid connection agreement with KEPCO, the state-owned utility in South Korea, allowing the project to connect to the grid during 2024. In 2022, Jeonnam I was awarded a 20-year fixed-price offtake agreement with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power through Korea’s first wind offtake auction. 

Throughout 2022, the project also signed manufacturing and construction contracts with Korean suppliers including Hyundai Engineering and Steel Industries, Hyundai Electric and Gaon, KT Submarine, and LS Cable and System. The project will utilize Mokpo New Port as the marshaling port throughout construction.

“Korea has a vast potential for offshore wind,” says Torsten Lodberg Smed, senior partner at CIP. “CIP has, since entering the Korean market in 2018, invested significantly in developing the country’s wind power projects in multi-giga watts scale and its supply networks and foster a strong industry ecosystem.”

They expect this will be the first phase of a multi-stage project that will support Korea’s ambitious target of reaching 14.3 GW of offshore wind power by 2030, a significant increase compared to the existing 1 MW installed today. SK E&S and CIP are also jointly developing Jeonnam 2 and Jeonnam 3, two offshore wind projects with a total capacity of 800 MW.

CIP notes that it is also pursuing partnerships in Korea regarding the development and supply of blue and green ammonia. CIP looks to play a broader role in further facilitating Korea’s green transition.

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