Published 19.4.2023

Pyhäjoki municipality approved the zoning initiative for an offshore wind farm 

The municipality of Pyhäjoki has approved the zoning initiative submitted by Metsähallitus for an offshore wind farm in the area of Pyhäjoki-Raahe, on the west coast of Finland. Metsähallitus has submitted zoning initiatives for a total of five projects to different municipalities and will decide their project development and sales order later this year.  

“The council and the board received a good and detailed explanation of the project, and we unanimously approved the zoning initiative,” says Pyhäjoki municipal manager Matti Soronen. 

 “Wind power is of great importance for Pyhäjoki, we have 114 onshore wind farms. Offshore wind power is a new leaf, and we see it as a significant future energy production opportunity”, Soronen continues. 

 “The municipality of Pyhäjoki is ready to take the plan forward and enable the construction of an offshore wind farm,” says Soronen. 

In Finland, municipalities have the exclusive right to decide on the zoning and construction of offshore wind power projects located in their areas. This also applies to state-owned areas within territorial waters. Metsähallitus, on the other hand, is responsible for the development of state areas and the preliminary study of projects on Finnish territorial waters. 

In addition to zoning, the pre-development of offshore wind power projects will cover, e.g. the reconciliation of government institutions’ views, structural studies of the seabed, measuring of the wind conditions of the areas, and later evaluating of the environmental effects and electricity transmission alternatives. Permitting of an offshore wind farm will take 5 – 7 years in Finland. 

The use of an offshore wind farm area is not restricted and can be used for boating, fishing or recreation. During the construction of the turbines, the use of the area is restricted for safety reasons. The area leased to marine wind power will always be owned by the state. The local municipality receives property tax revenues from the offshore wind farms located in its area. 

The zoning initiative approved by the municipality of Pyhäjoki is a part of Metsähallitus’ plan to develop five new offshore wind farms in the open sea in the coastal municipalities of Ostrobothnia. In addition to the municipality of Pyhäjoki, planning initiatives were submitted to the municipalities of Hailuoto and Siikajoki, as well as the cities of Raahe and Närpiö and Kristiinankaupunki. Of them, Siikajoki has already approved the zoning initiatives for its areas. The total capacity of the projects under development is approximately 6,000 megawatts (MW). 

The development of the projects planned for the state’s marine areas will progress to the selection of the companies that will build the wind farms and be responsible for the electricity production, once the municipalities have approved the zoning initiatives. Metsähallitus aims to open two tendering processes in September-October this year. Opening of the processes will be announced separately later. 

For further information, please contact: 
Ville Koskimäki, project manager, Property Development, Metsähallitus, tel. +358 206 394 021,  
Hanna Kaurala, communications manager, Property Development, Metsähallitus, tel. +358 206 394 239, email:  

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