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ECOVE Turns the Largest Landfill in Taiwan for Green Energy: Xinying Landfill Solar Project

In response to the green energy policy and the land revitalization initiative, the Environmental Protection Bureau of Tainan City Government has been tallying closed landfill sites since 2015 for solar power generation purpose to enhance the value of land. The tender for the construction and management of landfill sites in a span of 20 years was awarded to ECOVE Solar Energy Corp. (ECOVE SEC), a subsidiary of ECOVE. So far, ECOVE has helped Tainan City construct 14 landfill solar power plants, all of which have been connected to grid. Among them, Xinying power plant is the largest, which is constructed with innovative engineering technologies and has overcome challenges posed by irregular land subsidence. ECOVE has therefore assisted the city government in bringing multiple benefits for the environment and the economy alike.

Tainan City Generates the Largest Amount of Power with 14 Landfill Solar Power Plants Connected to Grid

Ever since 2016, when ECOVE SEC was awarded its first project to carry out the phase-one construction of a solar power system at a landfill in Chengxi, Tainan City, ECOVE SEC went on to secure further investment, construction, and management rights for other solar power projects, including those in Xinying District, Yanshui District, Madou District, Dayuanliao in Xigang District, Ouwang in Jiangjyun District, Tanding in Xinshi District, Wenziliao in Jiali District, Bafen in Xigang District, and Jingliao in Houbi District. These 14 grid-connected solar power systems have been constructed with the total installed capacity of 20 MW, the largest amount of power generation from landfill PV solar power plants in Taiwan. The annual power generation capacity is estimated at 25 GWh, enough to supply 7,135 households and cut down approximately 13,325 metric tons of carbon emissions annually. This is equivalent to the amount of CO₂ that can be absorbed by 34 Daan Forest Parks in Taipei City. This solar power investment project helped Tainan City Government reuse the landfills and reduce the use of coal, which in turn effectively reduces air pollution and improve air quality; it also provided the benefits of renewable energy, delivering on the goal of circular economy. 

Constructing Taiwan's Largest Power Plant to Achieve Environmental Sustainability through Effective Energy Conservation and Carbon Reduction

Among ECOVE's landfill solar power plant investments and constructions in Tainan City, the Xinying Landfill project is currently the largest utility-scale power plant built on landfill. Given current land conditions, construction was divided into two phases, with a total installed capacity of 6.4 MW, including 2.1 MW in the first phase and 4.3 MW in the second phase. The construction commenced in 2017 as soon as the establishment and construction permits were granted, and finally connected to Taiwan Power Company grids in June 2018, beginning to supply clean electricity. The solar power system can generate 9 GWh of green power, enough to supply about 2,500 households and cut down 4,750 metric tons of carbon emissions annually. In recognition of ECOVE's success in this project, Tainan City Government has awarded ECOVE a "Green Energy Model" medal.

Figure 1. Aerial view of Xinying Landfill Site before construction

Figure 2. Aerial view of Xinying Landfill Site after construction of the solar power system

Figure 3. Former mayor of Tainan Li, Meng-Yen awards a "Green Energy Model" medal to ECOVE Chairman J. J. Liao.

Using Innovative Engineering Technology to Address Land Subsidence Effectively

ECOVE has considerable experience in the development and construction of rooftop, ground-mounted, and floating solar power systems. With solid planning and construction capabilities, combined with the parent company CTCI’s expertise in civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering, it is able to effectively address development issues for landfill sites with special geological conditions. Challenges posed by duration of land remediation, types of garbage, land bearing capacity, and biogas emissions must be carefully evaluated to ensure successful transformation of landfills into PV solar power plants. Turning landfill sites into solar power plants not only improves the potentially negative perception of landfill sites, but also smooths out the difficulty in acquiring land for solar power constructions, thus achieving multiple goals of the green economy and sustainable energy.

In the nascent stage of project design, our project team had revisited the past experience. When reviewing the long-term impact of the overall foundation and support structure on soft soil, our project team conducted an in-depth analysis on the characteristics of "zinc-magnesium-aluminium" coated support that was newly introduced to solar power constructions at that time. After having discussions with our material suppliers, we decided to replace S400-class with high-strength S490-class, which was able to reduce the weight of support by 13% while keeping the same structural strength. Instead of the common foundation design featuring simple construction, single specifications, and large blocks, we adopted innovative construction technology featuring small blocks and mixed weights according to the terrain; adjustable pre-embedded bolts were also designed to avoid structural damage caused by distortion of support structure in case of horizontal changes in the foundation. Such design effectively addressed the irregular land subsidence due to special geological condition found at most landfill sites. More than two years since the completion of the project, periodic inspections show that the design of this innovative project has achieved the desired effect, demonstrating ECOVE’s most reliable services quality.

Rooted in Taiwan, ECOVE Targets Global Market Outreach

ECOVE delivers outstanding project performances built on rich technical experiences, sound finances and corporate governance, optimum human resources, and an excellent reputation for quality. Headquartered in Taiwan, ECOVE has successfully entered the U.S. market and is considered a reliable partner by project owners for having established reputations and proven track records. To continue our commitment to a sustainable future for the Earth, we will pay close attention to other major markets around the world and target suitable investments for further business development.