Finland Advances First Offshore Wind Farm Projects
Finland is joining the growing list of countries around the world pushing forward with a program to develop offshore wind energy power generation. While other countries in Scandinavia and the Baltic region have already been moving forward with offshore wind energy, Finland has lagged with only three projects identified and none yet in service or under construction. The Finnish Government, however, is now taking the first steps to license the developments.
Metsähallitus a state-owned enterprise that manages one-third of Finland's land and water areas recently announced that Vattenfall was selected in the first of several international offshore wind tenders to be carried out by the organization in support of Finland’s goal to reach net zero emissions by 2035. The Finnish Government followed up on December 29 announcing consent for research permits to Eolus, a Nordic renewable energy company, for the two offshore wind projects in the Finnish Bothnian Sea.
Vattenfall entered a joint venture with Metsähallitus to build and operate Finland’s first major offshore wind farm. The project, located at Korsnäs off the Finnish west coast, will have a capacity of 1.3 GW and a potential annual production of 5 TWh. The project is expected to be operational in the early 2030s.
"The Korsnäs offshore wind power project is a very significant new opening towards the realization of Finland's climate goals and it will strengthen our country's energy self-sufficiency in the coming decade,” said Juha Niemelä, CEO of Metsähallitus. “Now that the first auction of the offshore wind power project has been completed, we will continue to prepare future auctions in 2023, as the municipalities of the regions show interest in them."
Eolus reports that it expects to start work immediately on the research to support the Wellamo and Tuulia projects in Finland. They said that the Environmental Impact Assessment will begin in January 2023 and the seabed investigations will be carried out in 2023.
The site for the Tuulia project is approximately 19 miles off the coast, northwest of Pori, while the Wellamo project is approximately 55 miles off the coast, southwest of Pori. The total planned capacity of the two offshore wind farms is 3.5 gigawatts, which would add 14–16 TWh of renewable electricity for the Finnish electricity grid annually. The company said the number of turbines for the wind farms is approximately 100 each, but the final number will be determined at a later stage.