Finland will be launching five competitive tendering processes for more than 6,000 MW of offshore wind power on its territorial waters along the western coast of the country. Zoning initiatives for the first five projects have been submitted to the local municipalities.

Two projects are planned to be opened for tendering already in September-October this year and additional two projects next year. Decision on thefifth project will be made later.

”The development of five new offshore wind farms proves that Finland is fully committed to increasing the capacity of emission free energy. This, in turn, enables large-scale investments in green transition,” says Juha S. Niemelä, Director General of Metsähallitus.

The offshore wind power program supports, for example, Finland’s goal of becoming a leading player in the hydrogen economy in Europe.

“The tendering process for the first offshore wind farm at the end of last year showed that Finland is seen as an attractive investment environment for both domestic and international companies,” states Juha S. Niemelä.

Five offshore wind projects have now taken a step forward after the zoning initiatives of the project areas were submitted to the local municipalities. The municipalities in question are Siikajoki, Hailuoto, Pyhäjoki and Raahe (areas 1, 2 and 3 in the attached map), Närpiö (area 6) and Kristiinankaupunki (area 7).

Kristiinankaupunki and Närpiö will take the planning initiatives into the municipal process after the draft of Ostrobothnia’s provincial plan has been published. The energy and climate phase provincial plan of Northern Ostrobothnia, covering the areas of the other municipalities in question, has already been published.

All sites have been identified as areas suitable for offshore wind power generation in preliminary studies. The sites have optimal conditions e.g. in terms of water depth, geological structure of the seabed, electricity transmission alternatives and shipping routes. The planned areas have also received permission from the Finnish Defence Forces.

The five projects taken into the planning stage will increase Finland’s capacity for zero-emission electricity production in the 2030s by approx. 6,000 megawatts (MW). The supply of zero-emission electricity enables industrial investments and is a significant step towards achieving Finland’s climate targets.

In addition to the five projects that are now taken forward, Finland has identified two other offshore wind farm areas (areas 4 and 5 on the map) on the west coast. The further development of these two projects will depend e.g. on the survey capacity in Finland and decisions on their development will be taken later.

According to the Finnish law, the local municipality has the exclusive right to decide on the zoning of their areas. Project development will continue provided that the municipalities approve the zoning initiatives. The local municipalities often value the development opportunities offered by property tax revenues received from completed offshore wind farms.

Tendering processes to be opened in September-October

The partners for the constructing and operating of the planned offshore wind farms will be selected through a competitive, open and non-discriminatory tendering process. The partner selection will be made based on both quantitative and qualitative criteria.

The first two projects will be opened for tendering processes in September-October this year. Tendering processes will be announced separately.

At the end of 2022, Metsähallitus – responsible for managing and developing state-owned areas within the territorial waters – completed the tendering process for the first offshore wind farm on the open sea area in Finland. In this project, the major European energy company Vattenfall was selected as the partner. Through the experience gained from the first tendering process, the development of additional projects can now be accelerated.

Source: Metsähallitus