TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's first privately operated geothermal plant of at least one megawatt (MW) started operating in Yilan County Tuesday (Nov. 23).
The 4.2 MW plant can supply 7,000 homes with electricity, following a total investment of NT$765 million (US$27.52 million), CNA reported. The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and the Yilan County Government cooperated to build the power unit in the township of Qingshui.
The plant is set to become a pilot project for the development of geothermal energy across the country, with the government setting up subsidies and other forms of assistance to private candidate operators.
As Taiwan cannot rely on a wealth of domestic energy sources, the geothermal sector would play an important role in the future, MOEA officials said. The government said it has already simplified the application procedure for new small-scale plants and is publicizing information about previous exploration projects related to geothermal energy.