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Kuroshio Current can provide power for Penghu County: science council

2012/08/08 23:13:45

Taipei, Aug. 8 (CNA) A pilot hydroelectric power facility to be built over the next four years will be able to generate enough power from the Kuroshio Current to provide energy for all of Penghu County's 46,000 families, said the National Science Council on Wednesday.

The new facility will take advantage of Taiwan's geographic position and help boost domestic energy production, the council said, adding it has already developed a sea current turbine model and established a test area near the current.

The Kuroshio Current is a north-flowing current on the west side of the North Pacific Ocean that passes by Taiwan's east coast and holds great hydro energy potential, the council said.

The current, which flows at a depth of more than 50 meters, has a flow rate of one meter per second, which is far above the requirement of 0.5 meters per second to move a water turbine, the council added.

The council will invest NT$3 billion (US$99.94 million) to build the facility that could generate 30 million watts of electricity and provide enough power for 55,000 families, based on an average monthly usage of 350 kilowatts per hour of electricity, said Frank Yang, an oceanographic expert at the council.

Other areas around Taiwan also hold potential hydro energy, such as the waters between Keelung's Hoping Island and Keelung Islet, where strong sea currents converge, the council said.

(By Lin Meng-ju and C.J. Lin)