As Lithuania seeks to develop offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea and reduce the country’s dependence on electricity import, the Environmental Protection Agency has approved the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report on the offshore wind farm commissioned by the Ministry of Energy. The tender to select the developer of the 700 megawatt (MW) wind farm is scheduled to be launched on 15 January next year. This proposal by the Ministry of Energy still needs to be approved by the Government.
“As Lithuania strengthens its energy independence, another significant milestone in the development of offshore wind energy has been completed with the approval of the environmental impact assessment report on the second offshore wind farm. Over two years, important surveys and monitoring have been carried out in the Baltic Sea, conclusions and alternatives for the development of the wind farm have been drawn up, and presentations have been made to the public, interest groups and representatives of foreign countries,” said Daiva Garbaliauskaitė, Vice-Minister of Energy.
According to Ms Garbaliauskaitė, the most environmentally friendly alternative has been chosen: the offshore wind farm will be developed within 2 km of the boundary of the Natura 2000 protected area and the wind farm models to be used can reach a height of 350 m.
The Environmental Protection Agency has approved the conclusions of the EIA landscape assessment experts that the visual impact of the proposed offshore wind farm will be insignificant, as well as the impact mitigation measures and actions to be implemented and ensured by the developer during the construction and operation of the offshore wind farm.
Poland, Latvia, Finland, Sweden and Denmark participated in the transboundary evaluation of the EIA report on offshore wind farms.
The Ministry of Energy is planning two 1.4 GW offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea in the territory of Lithuania. These farms could generate around 6 TWh of green electricity per year, which is around half of current electricity demand of Lithuania.
The second 700 MW offshore wind farm, for which the European Commission has approved a EUR 193 million state aid scheme, covers an area of around 136.39 km2 in the Baltic Sea. The farm will be about 30 kilometres from the coast.
In order to implement the provisions of the Law on Renewable Energy, the Ministry of Energy has been organising preparatory works for the second offshore wind farm tender: a development plan for the offshore area for the development of renewable energy facilities has already been approved, a development plan for the connection of the two wind farms to the onshore grid is being prepared, bottom geophysical and geotechnical surveys have been carried out in the offshore area for the development of the wind farm, and the wind speeds and other hydrometeorological parameters have been measured.
The EIA report on the offshore wind farm has been commissioned by the Ministry of Energy and the assessment has been carried out and the report has been prepared by the Public Institution Coastal Research and Planning Institute.
Source: Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania