Raahe has approved the zoning initiatives for two offshore wind farms submitted by Metsähallitus. The offshore wind farms are planned in the areas of Pyhäjoki-Raahe and the western part of Seljänsuunmatala, on the west coast of Finland. Metsähallitus has submitted zoning initiatives for a total of five projects to local municipalities. Decisions on the project development and sales order will be made later this year.
“We have a very positive view on the planned offshore wind power projects and are pleased to participate in the development”, says Raahe town manager Leena Mikkola-Riekkinen. “The projects would be important for the vitality of the town. In addition, they would contribute also to the balance of the economy,” continues Mikkola-Riekkinen.
“Raahe has been among the first municipalities to develop onshore wind power, and thus we already have long experience in taking wind power into consideration in land use planning,” says Anu Syrjäpalo, Raahe’s town planning manager.
“Raahe is right at the center of green energy development. The green transition is included in our strategy as well. We are eagerly looking for new solutions”, says Syrjäpalo.
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. The local municipality receives the property tax revenue from the offshore wind farms located in its area as soon as the projects are completed. Metsähallitus, on the other hand, is responsible for the development of state-owned areas and the pre-development of projects on Finnish territorial waters.
In addition to zoning, the pre-development of offshore wind power projects includes, e.g. combining the views of state administration actors as well as studies on the structures of the seabed and wind conditions of the area. The environmental effects and electricity transmission alternatives will also be considered in the subsequent EIA procedure. Permit processes for offshore wind farms last 5–7 years in Finland.
The offshore wind farm does not restrict the use of the sea area for boating, fishing or recreation. During the construction of the power plants, the use of area will be restricted for safety reasons. The area leased for the offshore wind power generation will remain state property.
The zoning initiatives approved by the town of Raahe are part of Metsähallitus’ plan to develop five new offshore wind farms in the open sea in the Ostrobothnia coastal municipalities’ areas. In addition to Raahe, planning initiatives were submitted to the municipalities of Pyhäjoki, Siikajoki and Hailuoto, as well as the towns of Närpiö and Kristiinakaupunki. Of these, Siikajoki and Pyhäjoki have already approved the zoning initiatives for offshore wind farms planned for their 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 proceed 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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