Polish private energy group Polenergia has received the environmental permit for the development of the 600MW Baltic Srodkowy III offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea – the country’s first wind farm in the Baltic Sea – with a potential investment of USD2.5bn.
The Polish government’s recent legislation on onshore wind farming has put off many potential investors, but this does not affect offshore wind farms. Polenergia is the first operator in Poland to be awarded with the permit by the Regional Directorate of Environmental Protection (RDOS) in Gdańsk. “The issue of the first environmental decision for offshore wind farms in Poland is a critical milestone in the development of these projects,” Polenergia CEO Jacek Glowacki said.
The total capacity of the planned farm is 1,200MW, threefold higher than the capacity of onshore wind farm projects which have been suspended due to the distance limitations contained in recent legislation.
Located 23km north off the coast of the Baltic Sea, the new wind farm will be equipped with 120 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 5MW. Polenergia would take three years to prepare the technical design and obtain building permission, while the construction work of the project is expected to begin in 2019. The new wind project is expected to supply electricity to the Polish coast within the next five years. The operational life of the Baltic Srodkowy III offshore wind farm is planned for 25 years.
Being the largest wind turbine ever deployed in Poland, it will reach up to a height of 275m, while the blade diameter will be 200m. Implementation of the project is expected to bring more business for the Polish shipyards in Szczecin and Gdynia. Also, Baltic offshore wind development presents new opportunities for Pomeranian ports.
The European offshore wind sector generated EUR17.5bn in total investment in the first half of the year. At the end of June there were 11,538 MW of farms fully grid connected across 11 countries in Europe. In Poland it reached 5.1 GW of installed onshore wind capacity at end-2015.