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CGN bets on winds of change

By Lyu Chang | China Daily Europe | Updated: 2016-09-18 14:06

State-owned nuclear giant aims to diversify beyond its traditional sector to offshore

China General Nuclear Power Corp has announced that its first offshore wind power project is in the final stages of going online.

Located about 25 kilometers off the coast of Rudong in Jiangsu province, the project has 38 units with a combined capacity of 152 megawatts.

Chen Sui, chairman of CGN New Energy Holdings Co Ltd, says the project is expected to generate 400 million kilowatt-hours a year when connected to the grid, which is scheduled for the end of this year.

"The success of the project means we have developed our own offshore wind project technologies after the development of those in Germany and the United Kingdom," he says, adding that the project meets the "double-10" standard, which requires offshore wind turbines to be installed in areas at least 10 km offshore and at a water depth of at least 10 meters.

The Rudong project received final approval from the State Oceanic Administration in April last year.

The latest announcement on Sept 8 came after the consortium - led by CGN's unit in Europe and the French new energy company Eolfi - won a tender in July for a floating wind farm in the sea off the French island of Groix in the Atlantic.

The state-owned nuclear company says the deal will allow it to gain offshore wind technology, which can be applied in almost 70 percent of global offshore wind resources.

CGN, the country's biggest nuclear power plant operator, which started to develop a wind power business in 2006, has a total installed wind power capacity of 8.9 gigawatts.

The company is looking beyond its core business and plans to diversify into wind, solar and other renewables, to improve its overall competitiveness at home and abroad, says 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 adds.

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