The Swedish arm of German developer, WPD Offshore, is pushing forward with its Storgrundet 265MW project and expects permitting to be completed this summer.
The Swedish Energy Markets Inspectorate, responsible for approving all network concessions that require higher voltage cables, has granted a permit for Storgrundet's inter-array cables. Plans for installation of an export cable are still under consideration, according to Göran Dalén, chief executive of WPD Offshore Stockholm, speaking with Windpower Offshore.
The firm is in negotiations with a grid owner and local operators, with which WPD proposes sharing ownership of Storgrundet's grid connection infrastructure. The company is lobbying electricity transmission system operator (TSO) Svenska Kraftnät to take on a leading role in developing offshore grid connections. "They can take responsibility for the grid design, allowing us to concentrate on offshore operations," explained Dalén.
Dalén added that it is still too early to discuss publicly which turbine model might be selected and a contract to supply foundations has yet to be signed. The Storgrundet site is located in the southern Gulf of Bothnia, about 13km from shore.
WPD's other major offshore project in Sweden, the 1.1GW Finngrunden wind farm, is in the final stage of the Natura 2000 permitting process, which focuses on biodiversity impacts. Further from shore than Storgrundet - at 33km off Gävle - but also in the Gulf of Bothnia, the Finngrunden project would come online a couple of years after Storgrundet.