The municipality of Siikajoki has approved the zoning initiatives submitted by Metsähallitus for the offshore wind farms in the Western and Eastern areas of Seljänsuunmatala, on the west coast of Finland. Zoning of the areas will take about three-four years. Other required surveys will be carried out during that time.
“The demand for electricity is increasing. Therefore, offshore wind power is needed. The wind turbines of these offshore wind farms would be located far away, about 10 to 15 km from the coast. There, they hardly disturb recreational use of the areas. In the environmental impact assessment procedure, it will be determined whether the project has an impact on professional fishing,” says Pertti Severinkangas, Siikajoki municipal manager.
“We welcome the offshore wind power project and approved the zoning initiative unanimously,” says Kauko Lehto, Chairman of the Siikajoki municipal board. “This is a regionally significant investment, which can also bring other projects, for example, hydrogen processing. The effects extend thus further than just our own municipality.”
“We have seven years of experience with onshore wind power and the areas suitable for it are already largely in use. The disadvantages of offshore wind power are at their lowest in the open sea area”, Lehto says.
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 the 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 initiatives approved by the municipality of Siikajoki are 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 Siikajoki, planning initiatives were submitted to the municipalities of Hailuoto and Pyhäjoki, as well as the cities of Raahe and Närpiö and Kristiinankaupunki. 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: email@example.com
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