A one-off €20m incentive is to be offered by the Finnish government to support the construction of a new, sizeable offshore wind project, provided the country’s parliament rubberstamps the plan next year.
A parliamentary vote is expected some time next year, after which the government will launch a tender inviting bids for the €20m incentive.
"We understand that the ordinary renewable energy subsidy scheme is insufficient for offshore wind, therefore the additional €20m was included in the…budget," explained Petteri Kuuva, deputy director of Finland’s general ministry of employment and the economy, speaking with Windpower Offshore.
Finland’s renewable energy feed-in tariff came into effect in March 2011. It guarantees eligible projects the difference between the electricity market price and the ‘target’ price of €83.5/MWh.
The offshore wind project that wins the upcoming tender will receive both a FiT and the €20m incentive. Given that Finnish legislation prohibits the awarding of two subsidies to the same power generating project, a parliamentary vote is needed for this one-off exception for offshore wind.
Passage of the amendment is not expected to pose a problem, since the governing majority supports the proposal, said Kuuva.
The ministry does not foresee making its choice based entirely on project cost, he added. "Of course we would like to see the greatest capacity, but comparing different concessions in a straight cost comparison is impossible. We will examine a variety of factors: can the project later be scaled up? Is cutting edge technology on offer?"
One developer, Innopower Oy, told Windpower Offshore it may compete for the €20m incentive, perhaps by proposing a 30-turbine project. Innopower Oy is working on plans to expand the existing 30MW Kemi Ajos 1 & 2 wind farm, adding 60 turbines and 200MW. Innopower Oy also continues to progress its 400-800MW Oulu–Haukipudas project, however, realisation would require technological advances to cope with ice.