Solar park. Image: Vittavat Apiromsène Shutterstock

The Seoul government plans to transform 409 km2 of the Saemangeum at the new national center for renewable energies. With its 3 GW, the Korean project of Saemangeum will be the largest solar park in the world.

The largest solar park in the world? It will be built in South Korea, more precisely in Saemangeum, an estuary on the coast of the Yellow Sea, which today houses the largest artificial marine dam ever built.

Saemangeum. Image: SiHo Shutterstock

It was announced in person by Korean President Moon Jae-in at an economic summit held late last month. The South Korean government’s goal, Moon revealed, is to transform a vast expanse of land on the west coast into the largest national hub dedicated to renewable energy.

An ambition that will require an investment of nearly $ 9 billion, and which will have its biggest milestone in the construction of a mega hybrid power plant. The plans provide for the installation of an offshore wind-photovoltaic complex of 4 GW, of which 3 GW will be supplied exclusively by photovoltaic modules, which will constitute, by 2022 (year of commissioning), the largest park solar world.

Seoul is also working with provincial governments to speed up work on power distribution networks, substations and all that relates to regulatory matters.

“The Saemangeum project will be a fundamental turning point for Korea to improve its competitiveness in the global renewable energy industry,” said President Moon. “The initiative can only be successful if central government support is combined with the executive and planning powers of local government. The goal is to attract energy companies to invest in the Saemangeum Free Trade Zone, which Korea hopes to turn into a major economic hub for Northeast Asia.

Launched in 1991, the estuary project was not completed until 2010, after years of fierce fighting with local environmentalists. The territory remains full of promises and ambitions: the government today offers generous tax breaks to companies who decide to set up production facilities there. In September, the Saemangeum Development and Investment Agency (SDIA) announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Rena International for a billion dollar investment in the construction of an assembly plant of modules and a storage system production plant. The project has just concluded an agreement between SDIA and NemoENG for the establishment of a production plant for floating photovoltaic systems in this area.