Finland Selects Pori Tahkoluoto as Demonstration Project
The Finish Ministry of Employment and the Economy has selected Suomen Hyötytuuli Oy’s plan for a wind power farm as an experimental project for offshore wind power.
The MEE granted EUR 20 million in investment subsidies for the implementation of the project on 19 November 2014. However, the support must not exceed 18.5 percent of the realised acceptable costs for the project. In addition, the project might be eligible for operating aid for the amount of electricity it will generate over a period of 12 years.
“We received several good applications for the experimental project for offshore wind power. Suomen Hyötytuuli Ltd’s project was considered to be the best one. It will now serve as a trailblazer for Finnish offshore wind power”, observes Minister of Economic Affairs Jan Vapaavuori, who signed the decision supporting the project.
“An important aspect of this project is the testing of offshore foundations in practice, also in icy conditions. This development work and other demonstration projects could open up significant business opportunities in many sectors, especially considering that the importance of wind power and offshore wind power in energy production is set to increase in any case.”
Suomen Hyötytuuli Ltd hopes to build 10 or 11 turbines in Tahkoluoto, with a combined output of about 40–44 megawatts. The company’s aim is to make a decision on the investment in March 2015. It estimates that the project would be completed by the end of 2016.
The project would demonstrate solutions for wind turbines and offshore foundations that are suitable for conditions in the Baltic Sea. In the future, these would allow for more extensive construction of offshore wind power in the icy conditions of the Baltic Sea. The turbines would be situated about 0.6–2.5 kilometres offshore, where the conditions would be very similar to those prevailing at open sea. Ice conditions in the area are challenging, especially because of pack ice.
One of the conditions of the subsidy is that Suomen Hyötytuuli Ltd must share information with other developers of offshore wind power projects about offshore wind power construction, its use and maintenance, with the exception of information that would involve business secrets.
The state budget has EUR 20 million earmarked for a demonstration project for offshore wind power for 2014. The aim of the subsidy is to cover the additional costs incurred compared with land-based wind power. These costs are formed primarily from building foundations at sea and the electric cable.
In addition to promoting renewable energy, offshore wind power also offers a new cleantech business opportunity for offshore and energy industry companies. Export markets can be found especially in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea.
Eight other proposals took part in the application process for this experimental project. Companies applying for demonstration project support included Rajakiiri (Tornio/Röyttä), Propel Voima Ltd and Lumituuli Ltd (Oulunsalo/Hailuoto), Innopower (Kemi/Ajos and Kokkola), Mervento (Kokkola) and Suomen Merituulivoima (Siipyy).
The decision that was made is not indicative of a stand that the MEE might take on other applications for offshore wind power projects. The other projects in this round of applications for the experimental project were also seen to be feasible.