Major Offshore Wind Project Part of Swedish Renewable Energy Surge

A Sweden-based renewable energy developer, in partnership with the investment arm of Ingka Group–the biggest IKEA retailer–has been issued a permit for construction of a 5.5-GW offshore wind project that would be built in the Baltic Sea.

OX2 AB and Ingka Investments on April 3 said officials in Gotland, Sweden, gave the companies a Natura 2000 permit for the Aurora project. The permit means that authorities think the wind farm can be built without disruption to the environment.

Wednesday’s news comes one day after a France-based asset management company said it would buy a stake in several power projects in Sweden, supporting the latter country’s continued deployment of renewable energy. Eiffel Investment Group, headquartered in Paris, on April 2 said it would buy 50% of a 1.8-GW portfolio of solar, wind, and energy storage assets in Sweden being developed by Landinfra Energy. Eiffel in a news release said the company was making the purchase through its Eiffel Infrastructure Vertes and Eiffel Transition Infrastructure funds groups.

Aurora Offshore Wind

The Aurora offshore wind farm is sited about 14 miles south of Gotland, and about 19 miles east of Oland in the Baltic Sea. Officials said the project when fully operational could produce as much as 24 TWh of electricity annually.

“Aurora is a wind farm that can really make a real difference and act as a motor in the net-zero transition in the southern parts of Sweden,” said Emelie Zakrisson, head of development of offshore wind in Sweden for OX2. “Export cables from the farm are planned to go to the mainland but also directly to Gotland. The large-scale production from Aurora would facilitate for more local electricity production to be developed as well as hydrogen production to help decarbonize industry and heavy transports.”

The groups said the next step in the permitting process is for Gotland officials to ask the Swedish government whether the wind farm can be built according to the Act of Sweden’s exclusive economic zone. Construction could begin as soon as 2028 if the government gives the go-ahead, with commercial operation beginning by 2030.

If it receives final clearance, construction can begin in 2028 and production can start before 2030.

Eiffel-Landinfra Deal

Eiffel’s investment is in a Landinfra Energy portfolio of 10 projects, all under development, that includes 1,350 MW of solar power generation capacity and 300 MW of wind power, all co-located with energy storage. The portfolio also includes 140 MW of standalone energy storage. Landinfra officials said the projects represent investment of about $1.6 billion.

Construction of the first of the projects is expected in 2025. Landinfra, a company that develops both offshore and onshore wind, energy storage, hydrogen, and other projects, said it has a portfolio of more than 5 GW of land-based renewable energy, as well as 10 GW of offshore wind, in development in the Nordic region.

Marcus Landelin, co-founder and CEO of Landinfra, said of the deal: “Jointly we will bring the necessary capabilities and financial strength to add new and much needed sustainable energy production to SE3 and SE4.” The SE3 and SE4 regions are the southernmost areas of Sweden, a country where electricity supply is divided into several zones. Landelin last year said the company was looking to develop as much as 8 GW of offshore wind projects in nine areas off the Swedish coast.

Neptunus Hub

OX2 and Ingka Investments also are partnering on an offshore energy hub, known as Neptunus, off the coast of Blekinge in southern Sweden. The groups earlier this year said the hub would be about 30 miles off the coast, and would include a 3,100-MW wind farm. Officials said construction could begin in 2030 based on the current permitting timeline.

The project also calls for offshore hydrogen production of as much as 370,000 tonnes annually. Plans also include a pilot project to use oxygen, a byproduct of hydrogen production, to oxygenate the Baltic Sea and help restore marine life, according to Zakrisson.

Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

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