Ebba offshore wind farm
In early June 2023, we reported on the progress of offshore wind farm project development in a sea area off the coast of Pyhäjoki and Raahe municipalities. The zoning initiatives, which we submitted to the municipalities in the project area based on preliminary surveys, were approved in May 2023. The zoning process of the project area will take at least two years.
While the project area is under the administration of Pyhäjoki and Raahe municipalities, it is owned by the state. The planned offshore wind farm site, which is approx. 160 km2 in size, has already been reserved for wind power production in the Maritime Spatial Plan and the draft for a Regional Energy and Climate Plan for Northern Ostrobothnia.
The estimated capacity of the offshore wind farm planned in Pyhäjoki’s and Raahe’a area is 1,400 MW. The farm is likely to be completed in the early 2030s.
This project is included in our large-scale offshore wind power development programme, which will increase Finland’s wind power generation by approx. 6,000 MW in the next decade.
Developing commercial activities for state-owned areas is an elementary part of Metsähallitus’ role. Therefore, we complete preliminary surveys of offshore wind farm sites and, on this basis, select areas for commercial project preparation.
Optimal conditions for wind power production
The planned offshore wind farm area in Pyhäjoki and Raahe is well suited for energy production. The water depth is mostly 10 to 45 metres, and there are excellent wind conditions in the area. The needs of maritime logistics and the Defence Forces were also addressed when selecting the project area.
Preliminary preparations of the project also include obtaining a permit for leasing state-owned lands from the central government.
As part of the preparatory work, we have also initiated discussions with the national grid operator Fingrid, ensuring that the wind power can be transmitted to the electricity grid once offshore power generation starts.
Project development is simultaneously progressing on other fronts, such as wind measurements in the area, seabed soundings and environmental surveys.
Competitive tendering for project and lease rights
An international tendering process will be launched in autumn 2023 to select a partner to construct and operate the Pyhäjoki-Raahe offshore wind farm. We expect that the tendering process including all stages and negotiations will be concluded in summer 2024.
The partner to be selected – a company or consortium – will purchase project rights and lease rights to the site and continue to develop the project as agreed in the contract.
The tendering process or project development does not include any financial support to the operator, and all current offshore wind power projects will proceed on fully commercial basis.
The partner to be selected in the tendering process will continue the permit processes of the project, which will take from five to seven years to complete in Finland. After this, the partner can build the wind turbines. The construction phase takes two to three years. The offshore wind farm will be completed in the early 2030s.
Rather than engaging in actual energy production, after the initial project phase Metsähallitus will remain in the role of the site lessor.
Metsähallitus is responsible for managing and developing state-owned land and water areas. The income from these activities is entered as revenue in the state budget.