Tokyo, Japan — (METERING.COM) — November 1, 2012 – The search for a suitable site for a wind farm in the Gobi Desert has started and the site is expected to be identified by the end of the year, marking the first step in the development of an Asian Supergrid.
This first wind farm is expected to have a capacity of up to 300 MW and could become operational as early as 2014. Feasibility studies for three more sites in Mongolian parts of the Gobi are planned, which together could result in desert wind farms with a total capacity of 7,000 MW.
An Asian Supergrid in which renewable energy is supplied across Asia – including Japan, Korea, China, Mongolia, and Russia – via low loss high voltage direct current transmission lines is the vision of the DESERTEC Foundation.
The Foundation is working with the Japan Renewable Energy Foundation (JREF) on the transition to renewables in that country as an alternative to nuclear power following the Fukushima nuclear incident last year. The Gobi site identification is being carried out by SB Energy Corp., the renewable energy division of Japanese Softbank Corp., led by billionaire and JREF founder Masayoshi Son.
The DESERTEC Foundation has conducted an initial feasibility study into possible corridors for transmission lines that would harness the renewable energy potential of the Gobi desert. Such a network is an “important step towards implementation of the DESERTEC concept in East Asia,” says Foundation Director Dr. Thiemo Gropp.