Edith offshore wind farm
In early June 2023, we announced on progress made with the planned offshore wind farm project off Närpiö. A wind farm with an estimated capacity of 1,600 MW is planned for this area.
While the project area of approx. 180 km2 earmarked for the offshore wind farm is owned by the central government, administratively it belongs to the City of Närpiö. The project area has been reserved for offshore wind power production in Maritime Spatial Planning and the draft Regional Plan for Ostrobothnia 2050.
This project is part of our extensive offshore wind power development programme, which is set to increase Finland’s wind power generation by approx. 6,000 MW in the next decade.
Preliminary surveys and central government permits
Metsähallitus’ is tasked to develop commercial activities for state-owned areas. This is why we produce preliminary surveys of potential offshore wind farm sites and develop the project until it can reliably go ahead.
The project area off Närpiö is highly suitable for offshore wind power construction and production. The water depth is mostly 10 to 45 metres, and the area is consistently windy. The are also no obstacles to the building offshore wind farm from the perspectives of maritime logistics and the Defence Forces.
The preliminary surveys are based on the Maritime Spatial Plan and the draft Regional Energy and Climate plan for Northern Ostrobothnia, in which the area has been reserved for offshore wind power generation.
Preliminary project preparations additionally include applying to the central government for a permit to lease the area.
We have also initiated discussions with the national grid operator Fingrid, ensuring that the wind power can be transmitted to the electricity grid once the power generation starts.
Approval for the zoning initiative
Based on the preliminary surveys, we submitted a zoning initiative concerning the project area to the City of Närpiö, which the city approved in May 2023. The initiative triggered a zoning process that will take at least two years.
In the meantime, project development will continue in the form of wind measurements, seabed soundings and environmental surveys.
Competitive tendering for project and lease rights
Instead of participating in power generation, Metsähallitus is looking for a partner to construct and operate the offshore wind farm. This partner will be selected in an international tendering process. This private law procedure, which is similar to a business acquisition process, will be launched in autumn 2023. We expect that including all stages and negotiations, the process will be concluded in summer 2024.
The tendering process does not include any financial support, and the projects will proceed on fully commercial terms.
Permit process continues
The selected partner will continue project development by obtaining the necessary permits, which takes between five and seven years 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.
Metsähallitus’ role after the initial phase will be that of the site lessor, as our mission is to manage and develop state-owned land and water areas. The income from these activities is entered as revenue in the state budget.