It looks like developer Saare Wind Energy will build a much larger farm in Estonian waters near Saaremaa Island. The Sõrve wind farm will have increased capacity from 600 to 1400 MW – at least this is what the investor wants.
As the Estonian ERR portal writes, Saare Wind Energy wants to increase the capacity of its planned offshore farm. The construction application was already submitted in 2015, which was positively approved. It is no secret that the technology of offshore wind energy has developed significantly since then. Kuido Kartau, a board member of the company, quoted by ERR, pointed out that 6 MW offshore turbines are no longer being produced. The developer wants to build 100 turbines, but with a capacity of 14 MW. “They don’t exist today either, but in a few years they will be. Today, 10-12 MW wind turbines are fully available. Moreover, a wind farm with a total capacity of less than 1000 MW is rarely built.
This poses many challenges. A larger park needs more space as the height of the wind turbines increases from 180 meters to turbines with a rotor diameter of 280 meters. As a rule of thumb, the six rotor diameters can be the distance between the wind turbines, so we are talking about at least 1.5 km distance between the wind generators.
In the fall of 2020, the company sent an application to the Office of Consumer Protection and Technical Inspection to increase the area of the building permit by 27 percent. As reported by ERR, the law allows this area to be increased or shifted by up to 33 percent. It turns out that the office did not agree, pointing to the lack of a maritime spatial development plan, and it is not at all certain whether wind turbines can be erected there north of the aforementioned wind farm. The developer does not want to give up, he applied again, but for the construction of an extended version of the farm.
The Estonian government hopes that a maritime spatial development plan will be drawn up by next year at the latest.