Lithuania postpones second offshore wind tender to January

Lithuania plans to launch its second offshore wind tender early next year as the Baltic Sea state offers a project that it believes could meet up to a quarter of its electricity needs.

Its energy ministry announced tentative plans to open the auction in January 2024, but added that it will decide on the exact date “in the near future”.

The Baltic Sea country had planned to hold it this autumn but needed to wait for European Commission approval of €193 million to support the contracts for difference tender and needed to finish a consultation with potential bidders.

Developers will bid for the rights to develop the 700MW wind farm, which is earmarked for a 136km2 area 38km from the port city of Klaipėda. The auction will not use so-called ‘negative bidding’ whereby developers pay for the right to use the tendered site.

The energy ministry claims the project could produce about 3TWh per year – enough to meet up to a quarter of Lithuania’s electricity needs. This would help to reduce its dependence on electricity imports, the ministry added.

Deputy energy minister Daiva Garbaliauskaitė said: "Offshore wind farms together with renewable energy projects developed on land are extremely significant in strengthening Lithuania's energy independence.” 

Its first tender – won by a joint venture of state utility Ignitis Group and offshore wind developer Ocean Winds – only attracted two bidders amid a series of challenges that industry observers believe minimised competition.