Offshore wind plants in Finland could be built in four areas off Helsinki's coast and at distances of five to ten kilometres from the shoreline according to a study by Helsinki City Planning Department (HCPD). It envisages groups of between 15 and 20 turbines each rated at 3 MW, with rotor tips reaching up 120-130 metres, says HCPD's project engineer Jouni Kilpinen. With a finger on the political pulse of the nation and with members of the country's leading parties on its board, the City of Helsinki is lobbying for improved terms for investors in offshore wind farms. The city is also hoping to create private partnerships to build the projects, but only if the next government commits to providing improved cash and tax incentives for wind power. Finland is to have a general election next year. "There are several issues outstanding," says Kilpinen. The sites must be approved by the city council and in the Finnish power market, wind farms are not profitable without government aid. "Power companies are not overly interested in investing when they can buy conventional electricity so cheaply in Finland and Scandinavia," explains Kilpinen.
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