Korsnäs Offshore Wind Farm
Metsähallitus is planning to develop an offshore wind farm with a minimum capacity of 1,400 megawatts off the coast of Korsnäs municipality on the west coast of Finland. Should the plans go ahead, the total investment to the Korsnäs offshore wind farm will be in a range of 1,5 – 2,5 billion euros..
Herring spawning surveys in progress.
Wind measurements are being prepared,
EIA, zoning and technical consultant selected (AFRY Finland Oy).
During the first phase of the project, 70 to 100 turbines with a nominal power of 12 to 20 megawatts would be built in the area.
Finland has set the goal of being a fossil-free welfare society by 2035. As the steward of state-owned land and water areas, Metsähallitus plays a key role in achieving this goal. We are aiming for a three-fold increase in wind power production in the areas we manage by 2030.
We have the role of a facilitator in Korsnäs and contribute the Finnish wind power expertise to the project. We are looking for a partner with know-how in offshore wind farm construction and wind power generation as a business. Rather than participating in the wind power business, we will have a stake in the project as the lessor of the area.
The municipality of Korsnäs approved a planning proposal on the offshore wind farm in autumn 2020. The project site is located in a public water area managed by Metsähallitus approximately 15 kilometres off the coast. This 180 km2 site is located in an area designated for wind power production in the Maritime Spatial Plan and partly overlaps an area reserved for wind power production in the regional land use plan for Ostrobothnia. The Maritime Spatial Plan is a strategic positioning document jointly formulated by key stakeholders in the marine area regarding the area’s sustainable use and the measures needed to maintain an adequate environmental status.
The final boundary of the area will be specified as planning progresses. It will be affected by considerations such as protected areas, the seabed, water depth and inclusive discussions with different stakeholders. Shipping routes in the area and the needs of the Finnish Defence Forces have also been taken into account in the location of the planning area.
Environmental conditions of the site
The wind conditions in the sea area off the Korsnäs shore are ideal. The average wind speed on the site may exceed 9 metres per second. The water depth and seabed geology are also well suited for wind power construction. The water depth at the project site is mainly 10 to 15 metres. The richest biodiversity of seabed organisms is found at depths of less than 10 metres. However, the benthic fauna in the area will be surveyed in detail as the project progresses.
Fishing and fish species have also been taken into account in the spatial planning of the project. Reefs and shallow areas important for fish reproduction are excluded from the project site. We have also examined the flyways of migratory birds and determined that the project site is far enough not to interfere with the flyways.
The wind farm site is located more than ten kilometres away from Kvarken Archipelago, the only natural heritage site in Finland on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Natura habitats are also located within sight of the project site. The impacts of the wind farm on these areas will be examined as part of the project’s permit process.
One of the preconditions for constructing an offshore wind farm is the availability of suitable ports. Three large ports can be found near the Korsnäs project site in Kaskinen, Kristiina and Vaasa. These ports are served by a railway, and we are currently analysing their operational and storage capacity.
To transmit electricity from the project site in Korsnäs to the mainland, submarine cables will be laid on the seabed. A power line built on the mainland will connect the offshore wind farm to the existing electricity grid.
The company responsible for Finland’s electricity transmission network is Fingrid. We are currently negotiating with Fingrid on different options for connecting the wind farm to the main grid. These options will also be examined as part of the environmental impact assessment (EIA).
The construction of the offshore wind farm will have many positive impacts on regional economy and business, among other things through tax revenue. Its employment impacts will be generated by such activities as planning, construction of wind farm infrastructure, transport, wind turbine installation as well as accommodation and catering services.
Municipalities have the right to levy taxes on properties located in their areas in Finland. The tax revenue obtained by an individual municipality from wind turbines depends on the construction costs of the plant, the efficiency of the wind farm and the tax rate determined by the municipality. The annual property tax revenue from one offshore wind turbine to the municipality of Korsnäs could be up to EUR 70,000 a year. In this case, the annual revenue from the wind farm project as a whole could potentially be several million euros.
Metsähallitus does not build or own wind farms itself. Our role is that of a facilitator and lessor of wind farm sites. We will not sell state-owned land to wind power operators. Previously we have developed projects either alone or together with other landowners or project developers (linkki hankkeisiin). As the Korsnäs project is quite extraordinary, our operating model is slightly different. We are looking for a responsible partner (linkki code on conduct ja vastuullisuusohjelma), with whom we will continue project development until the site is ready to be built.
The project development of the wind farm in Korsnäs is estimated to take around four years. The planning process was launched in 2020, and the environmental impact assessment will begin in 2021. The first nature surveys will be carried out in spring 2021. The construction of the project will take several years, and we estimate that Korsnäs offshore wind farm could be in productive use by 2028 at the earliest.