Skyborn Renewables unveils 3.9GW Swedish offshore wind plans

Skyborn Renewables has added to its Swedish offshore wind pipeline by unveiling plans for a 3.9GW wind farm in the Gulf of Bothnia where it will have to overcome icy conditions to build its project.

Skyborn has chosen a site off the coast of Hudiksvall (above) in north-east Sweden, and will have to overcome icy conditions to build the wind farm (pic credit: Alexander Farnsworth/Getty Images)

Its 3900MW Eystrasalt Offshore project is planned for a site about 60km from Hudiksvall in north-east Sweden and is located within one of the offshore wind zones the Swedish government identified last year.

The project would feature up to 256 turbines installed on fixed-bottom foundations, indicating an average power rating of about 15MW.

It could produce about 15TWh per year – enough to meet about 10% of Sweden’s current electricity use, Skyborn claimed.

It has already surveyed the site and believes it has “good wind conditions and favourable sea depths” between 20 and 60 metres, and an average depth of about 40 metres.

The developer – Wpd’s offshore wind unit, rebranded after being taken over by Global Infrastructure Partners – has applied for a permit for the project. This would give Skyborn the exclusive rights to use the area to develop, build and operate an offshore wind farm, though the developer would still need to secure permitting approval for the project’s export cables.

It aims to start construction in the early 2030s and gradually commission the project before reaching full operations in the middle of the decade.

Skyborn Sweden CEO Olle Hedberg told Windpower Monthly that he sees a “huge industry need” for power in northern Sweden, and added: “We will have to investigate multiple options [for offtake]. 

“Given the sheer size and the volume it is not that easy. We will need to be open-minded about how we construct the business model [for the project].”

Hedberg added that Skyborn will have to overcome icy conditions in the Gulf of Bothnia to build the project, with ice build-up preventing project construction for about half the year on average. The developer is considering the best ways to do this, including the optimal foundation design for the project.

Skyborn is helping to develop more than 30GW of offshore wind capacity in Taiwan, Sweden, Romania, France, Japan and Germany. It also hopes to build a separate 1GW project in the Swedish Baltic Sea, but voters rejected plans for the wind farm in an advisory referendum.

It is one of several developers targeting offshore wind in Swedish waters, with the likes of Simply Blue Group, OX2 and Ørsted also unveiling plans for projects in recent months.

Sweden currently has 191MW of operational offshore wind capacity, according to Windpower Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Monthly.