- The USFK has apparently no reservations about the South Korean government setting up a 2.1 GW floating solar power plant on Saemangeum Lake
- Earlier local media reports had stated that the USFK is apprehensive of the solar panel glare upsetting its flight operations
- Country’s Defence Ministry says the USFK has officially told SDIA of its no objection to the proposed project
The Ministry of National Defence (MND) in South Korea has assured that the United States Forces Korea (USFK) has no issues with the country building a massive 2.1 GW floating solar power plant on the Saemangeum reclaimed area, a location close to the Kunsan Air Base, which is used by USFK.
Yonhap News Agency quoted MND spokesperson Choi Hyun-soo saying that the USFK has reviewed the situation and that it has no intention to raise objections to the project. Local media reports had earlier claimed the USFK feared that glare from the solar panels may disrupt its flight operations. The USFK has officially delivered its stance on the matter to the Saemangeum Development and Investment Agency (SDIA).
As part of the country’s efforts to scale up its renewable energy capacity, in July 2019, Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) had approved the plan to develop what could be the world’s largest single site floating solar project with 2.1 GW capacity (see South Korea Announces 2.1 GW Floating Solar Project).
As per previously announced plans, construction on the project is expected to begin in H2/2020 with more than 5 million solar modules to be deployed on a 30 km area of the Saemangeum Lake.
A report by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables in September 2019 forecasts global installed floating solar capacity to reach 2.4 GW by year end – with Asia, led by South Korea, accounting for 87% of this expected capacity (see 2.4 GW Cumulative Floating Solar Installed By 2019-End).