Taipei turning landfill site to solar power plant

Taipei, July 30 (CNA) Taipei is building its first solar power plant using ground mounted solar panels at a venue that used to be a landfill site, according to the city government on Saturday.

The project is part of the capital's efforts to expand the use of renewable energy.

Taipei City's Department of Environmental Protection signed a contract with Taipei-based Tatung Co., one of Taiwan's leading brands for energy saving and green energy related systems and services, on Saturday at a ceremony held at Fudekeng Environmental Restoration Park, where the solar power plant will be built.

The 37-hectare park in the Muzha area on the southeastern edge of the city used to be a landfill site.

The plant is expected to be completed by the end of this year, and will be able to generate up to 2 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year, the city's environment protection department said.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said renewable energy generates about 487 million kilowatt-hours of electricity for Taipei, which accounts for only 3 percent of the city's total power consumption.

The city is aiming to increase the usage of renewable energy to 10 percent of its total power generation by the end of 2025, Ko said. To that end, the city government will make efforts to use public land to develop solar power systems and will also subsidize the private sector to install solar power facilities, to encourage wider use of solar energy, Ko said.

Meanwhile, the new solar power plant is expected to cut 20,840 tons of carbon emissions in the city annually, according to the department.

The park is a spacious and sunshine-sufficient area, Liou Ming-lone, commissioner of the department, said, citing that as one of the reasons why it was chosen as the location for the solar power plant. (By Liu Chien-pang and Elaine Hou)