Metsähallitus’ operating model in offshore wind power development

Finland’s western sea areas are well suited for the construction of offshore wind farms. The energy sector's interest in Finnish marine areas has thus grown rapidly. The new offshore wind farm areas will be leased according to the state-approved allocation model. Metsähallitus is responsible for the development of the initial phase of the projects and will organize the relevant international tenders on a separately announced schedule.

A close-up of the wind turbine

Metsähallitus’ role is to manage the state-owned land and water areas. As a state-owned business, Metsähallitus acts as a project developer at the beginning of the project and as an issuer and lessor of reservation and access rights contracts. After the selection of a partner, Metsähallitus acts as the lessor of the water area. Ownership of the water area remains with the state.

The development of an offshore wind farm requires good interaction with decision-makers as well as local stakeholders. Reconciling different goals is a part of Metsähallitus’ core competence, and we have an extensive network of stakeholders and years of experience in learning from and engaging with them.

Project development before tendering

The development of offshore wind power projects will start with preliminary surveys of water areas, on the basis of which the areas for tendering are selected. Areas that are suitable for wind power production according to the regional planning and marine area plan are selected for the surveys. The progress of the planning stage also depends on the local municipality’s interest in project development.

Allocation model

The lease rights for offshore wind farm areas and the initial project development will be put out to tender on the international market. Both domestic and foreign operators in the energy sector can participate in the tendering. The process is governed by private law, similar to the business acquisition process, with all bidders treated equally.

Tendering process for Finnish public water areas

The allocation process starts by informing the market operators. After receiving non-binding offers by the deadline, the bidders interested in the project are invited to present a binding offer. Among them, one or more partners are selected for the final negotiations. Once the parties have reached an agreement, the partnership will be announced. After that, the development of the project shall continue as agreed. Qualitative and commercial criteria are emphasized in the allocation process.

The selected contract partner is responsible for, among other things, applying for the necessary permits and developing the area as appropriate for its purposes.

Metsähallitus remains the lessor of the area. The area rent of offshore wind farms is included in the result that Metsähallitus reports to the state.