Pre-feed study for 1.2GW Estonian offshore wind farm underway

The technical and economic feasibility (pre-feed) study for the 80-turbine, 1.2GW 'first stage' of the Saare-Liivi offshore wind farm, planned off Estonia's coast, will be completed by January 2023.

Ramboll has worked on offshore wind projects in Europe and China
Ramboll has worked on offshore wind projects in Europe and China

The wind farm is being developed by local energy company Utilitas, which says it hopes to secure all necessary permits for the project in 2025, with a view to it becoming fully operational by 2028 "at the latest".

International engineering consultancy Ramboll is conducting the pre-feed study on behalf of Utilitas. As well as economic figures and cost projections, the study will identify the most suitable wind turbines, foundations and port logistics. It follows pre-construction works carried out over the entire area of the Saare-Liivi offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Riga in the Baltic Sea last month, when, among other things, sediment types and structures were identified, Utilitas says.

“As the first year of environmental studies will soon be completed, it is the right moment to move forward with the development of technical solutions and identify the most optimal wind turbine generators and foundation types for the offshore wind farm,” said Liisa Mällo, offshore wind development manager at Utilitas Wind. 

In addition to the wind farm’s technical solutions, Ramboll will also look at the electrical solutions for the project, including the location and technical parameters of the cables, as well as the location and size of the substations. 

When complete, the 1.2GW project is expected to produce more than 5TWh of electricity a year, enough to meet almost 60% of Estonia's annual energy needs. A further 80 turbines could potentially follow in the future. "Within the framework of the EIA, a wind farm with up to 160 wind turbines, with a distance between each other of approximately 1km to 1.25 km, is evaluated as the primary potential solution," notes Utilitas. However, whether the full capacity proceeds will be determined by the grid company.

Ramboll is also preparing a preliminary design for the 1.1GW Hiiu wind farm planned in the Baltic Sea by Enefit Green, the clean energy unit of state-controlled utility Eesti Energia.

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