Ireland’s Simply Blue Energy and Swedish wind developer Eolus Vina AB have been granted a research permit for a major offshore floating wind project sited near Finland in the Bothnian Sea.
The location is in the northernmost arm of the Baltic Sea. The Dec. 30 announcement came the same day that Eolus said it was granted a permit by the Finnish government for another wind park—called Tuulia—sited about 19 miles northwest of Pori on Finland’s west coast.
The Eolus-Simply Blue project, known as Wellamo, is about 55 miles southwest of Pori. The companies said it would be a 1- to 2-GW capacity installation.
SeaSapphire Joint Venture
“This is an important step towards realizing our first offshore wind projects in Finland. Our goal is for both wind farms to start producing electricity during the 2030s,” said Eolus’ chief executive Per Witalisson. Each array is expected to feature about 100 turbines.
Simply Blue Energy and Eolus in November formed the SeaSapphire joint venture, under which the companies will develop what they called four gigascale offshore floating wind arrays in the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland. Two sites are in Swedish waters, with the other two offshore of Finland.
The companies on Friday said environmental impact assessments will begin in January, with seabed investigations later next year.
The Wellamo Floating Wind project will be located near a 42-MW pilot offshore project, developed by Finland-based Hyötytuuli, that has operated since 2017.
Several Projects Announced Recently
A succession of offshore wind projects in Finnish waters have been announced in recent weeks, including a 1.3-GW array off Korsnäs, in the Bay of Bothnia, sited about 250 miles south of the Arctic Circle. That project will be built and operated by Swedish utility Vattenfall.
Finland wants to be carbon-neutral by 2035, and government officials have said offshore wind will be a major part of reaching that goal. The country, like others in Europe, is trying to ramp up its growth of renewable energy to replace energy imports from Russia that have been reduced due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“This is an important step towards realizing our first offshore wind projects in Finland. Our goal is for both wind farms to start producing electricity during the 2030s,” said Eolus’ chief executive Per Witalisson.
Eolus, founded in 1990, has several wind, solar, and energy storage projects. The company operates in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the U.S., Poland, Estonia, and Latvia.
—Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).