Environmental studies included in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of Metsähallitus’ Korsnäs offshore wind farm have begun with studies regarding herring spawning and the bird population in the area.
The surveys regarding the spawning of Baltic herring are carried out by Alleco Oy, a subcontractor of AFRY Finland Oy, the main consultant in the EIA of Metsähallitus. Alleco Oy is a pioneer of research diving in Finland and has been carrying out similar spawning surveys for decades.
‘We use spawning surveys to identify potential spawning areas for the Baltic herring in the project area and its surroundings. In the sea area, we conduct a diving survey at under 10 metres, where we look for herring eggs,’ says Senior Specialist Karoliina Jaatinen from AFRY.
‘Herring eggs attach on hard surfaces or over algae where the diver observes their density and collects the sample for further determination. After the field survey, we determine the degree of development and vitality of the roe.’ In addition to fishing surveys, these diving surveys provide important additional information on the significance of the sea area for the fish population,’ Jaatinen continues.
‘The spawning areas will be mapped again in the autumn, and we will also collect additional information by interviewing the fishermen in the area,’ says Ville Koskimäki, Project Development Manager for Wind Power at Metsähallitus.
At the same time, VEBIC (Vaasa Energy Business Innovation Centre, University of Vaasa) has launched bird population surveys in the area.
‘This year, we count nesting bird populations as well as populations of temporary and feeding bird populations and moults,’ says Koskimäki. ‘The bird population surveys will continuein 2022, when we monitor both spring and autumn migration and supplement the counts of passing flocks,’ Koskimäki continues.
‘We have also reviewed new materials and specified the location of the Korsnäs offshore wind farm so that the new project area is located further away from the Kvarken Archipelago World Heritage Site, nature conservation areas and fish spawning areas,’ says Pertti Tapio, Project Leader for Wind Power Business at Metsähallitus. ‘At the same time, wind power farms can be constructed further out at sea in deeper areas., Tapio continues. In other words, construction projects further out at sea have less impact on the environment than those in the shallow coastal areas.
‘The exact visibility of the planned wind turbines will be modelled as the project progresses, and for this purpose we will capture a video of the area, possibly as early as June,’ Tapio explains.
‘We are also preparing a public event that will take place after the summer holidays. Hopefully corona restrictions will allow us to meet and discuss face-to-face,’ Tapio says.
Korsnäs offshore wind farm in a nutshell
The offshore wind farm planned by Metsähallitus for Korsnäs would be located approximately 15 kilometres from the coast in a public water area managed by Metsähallitus. Between 70 and 100 turbines are planned to be built.
The nominal power of the Korsnäs offshore wind farm would be approximately 1,300 megawatts. This means that its power plants would produce approximately 5,000 gigawatt hours of electric power annually. It would be sufficient to meet the annual demand for electric power of 700,000 single-family houses or the annual demand for total electricity of 250,000 single-family houses with electric heating. (A 120 m2 single-family house with four inhabitants and an average annual electricity consumption of 7,300 kWh has been used in the electricity consumption calculation. The average annual electricity consumption of an electrically heated 120 m2 single-family house with four residents is estimated at 20,000 kWh).
Project Leader for Wind Power Business Pertti Tapio, Metsähallitus Property Development, +358 206 395 302, email@example.com
Project Development Manager for Wind Power, Ville Koskimäki, Metsähallitus Property Development, +358 206 394 021, firstname.lastname@example.org