Vattenfall, the Sweden-based multinational power company, will build and operate Finland’s first gigascale offshore wind farm as part of a joint venture with Finnish state-owned seabed and forest management group Metsähallitus.
The project announced Dec. 20 is the 1.3-GW Korsnäs plant in the Bay of Bothnia, which sits between Sweden and Finland in the Baltic Sea. The plant will be located off the west coast of Finland, about 250 miles south of the Arctic Circle.
The wind farm, which reportedly will represent an investment of as much as €3 billion ($3.2 billion), is expected to produce about 5 TWh of power annually. Officials on Tuesday said it is expected to be completed in the next decade.
“We are very honored to have been selected to develop Finland’s first large-scale offshore wind farm,” said Helene Biström, head of the wind business area at Vattenfall. She added that Vattenfall would “bring our broad experience to the Korsnäs project, supporting Finland to reach their ambitious climate targets.”
Elina Kivioja, chief executive at Vattenfall’s Finnish unit, said the project will enable the company to expand its role as a producer of renewable energy, in addition to its present status as one of the largest electricity retailers.
“As one of the largest sellers of electricity, Vattenfall has redeemed its role as a partner for Finns,” said Kivioja. “With the offshore wind power project, we are expanding our role to become a significant producer of renewable energy in Finland.”
Finland’s offshore renewable energy at present features only the 42-MW Tahkoluoto wind farm, near Pori, which was built by wind developer Suomen Hyötytuuli. The Finnish government has issued a permit to expand that project by as much as 900 MW. The country has a goal to be carbon-neutral by 2035.
Finland also, like other European nations, wants to expand its renewable energy resources to replace energy imports from Russia, which have been cut due to Russia’s ongoing war with Ukraine. Officials have said Metsähallitus, which oversees much of the country’s land and water, is key to development of its energy resources.
“The Korsnäs offshore wind power project is a very significant new opening towards the realization of Finland’s climate goals and it will strengthen our country’s energy self-sufficiency in the coming decade,” said Metsähallitus CEO Juha S. Niemelä. “Now that the first auction of the offshore wind power project has been completed, we will continue to prepare future auctions in 2023, as the municipalities of the regions show interest in them.”
Niemelä continued: “Vattenfall presented strong experience on large-scale offshore wind projects together with sustainable business practices in addition to competitive commercial terms. We are confident that this project will benefit the people of Korsnäs, the economic zone around Vaasa as well as the state of Finland.”
—Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).