Finland grants seabed leases for 2GW of offshore wind farms

Finland's government has given the go ahead for two state-owned sea areas to be leased for the country's first large-scale offshore wind developments.

Suomen Hyotytuuli's 40MW Tahkoluoto wind farm (pic credit: Mark Kusaiha)
Suomen Hyotytuuli's 40MW Tahkoluoto wind farm (pic credit: Mark Kusaiha)

The developments are the Korsnäs offshore wind farm, expected to be at least 1.3GW, and Suomen Hyötytuuli Oy's planned 720MW expansion of its 40MW Tahkoluoto offshore wind farm off Pori.

Metsähallitus – Finland's agency charged with overseeing the use of state-owned land and water areas and therefore the seabed lessor – said it will act as the project developer for the Korsnäs project. It plans to issue a formal tender soon to find a partner to construct and operate the offshore wind farm, which will be located 15km off the coast. The tender winner will be announced by the end of 2022.

During the first phase of the project, between 70 and 100 turbines with a nominal power of 12-20MW will be installed, Metsähallitus said. Full commissioning of the entire 1.3GW will be 2028 "at the earliest", it added.

Ideal conditions

The water depth and seabed geology of the planned site are well suited for wind power construction, it said, while the wind conditions in the sea area are ideal, with average wind speeds potentially exceeding 9m/s. Annual production of the Korsnäs wind farm is estimated at about 5,000GWh, enough to meet the annual electricity needs of 250,000 households.

The agency is currently negotiating with Finland's electricity transmission system operator, Fingrid, on different options for connecting the wind farm to the main grid.

Suomen Hyötytuuli Oy's Tahkoluoto extension is planned approximately 4km from the Tahkoluoto port area and 30 km northwest of the Pori city centre. The total site area is approximately 135km2. Suomen Hyötytuuli Oy will install up to 45 offshore wind turbines with a maximum height of 310m and a unit capacity of 11–20MW.

Offshore auction model

Under the rental terms of the leases, local municipalities – Korsnäs and Pori – will receive property taxes from the projects after they have been completed, Metsähallitus said.

In December 2021, the Finnish Government approved the offshore wind power auction model for public water areas, under which Metsähallitus offered areas for use by wind power companies.

“The relatively shallow western waters of Finland are well suited for offshore wind power production,” said Tuomas Hallenberg, director, property development at Metsähallitus. “The offshore wind farm projects that have now been granted an area lease permit will bring Finland much closer to achieving its climate targets.”

Nordic developer OX2 and Finnish investor Ålandsbanken Fondbolag are also planning two large 4-5GW offshore wind farms, off Finland's coast, although they still need to secure permits for the projects.

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