Finland Sheds More Light on Major Offshore Wind Project

Finnish state-owned enterprise Metsähallitus plans to have the Korsnäs offshore wind farm up and running as early as 2028.

Metsähallitus, which is currently in the process of selecting a partner to jointly develop the project, said that the wind farm, located some 15 kilometres off the coast of the municipality of Korsnäs, will have a minimum capacity of 1,400 MW.

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Should the plans go ahead, the total investment for the Korsnäs offshore wind farm will be in the range of EUR 1.5 billion and EUR 2.5 billion.

70 to 100 turbines with a nominal power of 12 MW to 20 MW would be built in the area off the west coast of Finland during the first phase of the project, the developer said.

The Timeline

The project development of the Korsnäs wind farm is estimated to take around four years.

The planning process was launched in 2020, and the environmental impact assessment will begin in 2021. The first nature surveys will be carried out in spring 2021.

The municipality of Korsnäs approved a planning proposal on the offshore wind farm in autumn 2020. The project site is located in a public water area managed by Metsähallitus.

Location of the Korsnäs offshore wind farm. Source: Metsähallitus

The 180 square kilometres site is located in an area designated for wind power production in the Maritime Spatial Plan and partly overlaps an area reserved for wind power production in the regional land use plan for Ostrobothnia.

The final boundary of the area will be specified as planning progresses. It will be affected by considerations such as protected areas, the seabed, water depth and inclusive discussions with different stakeholders. Shipping routes in the area and the needs of the Finnish Defence Forces have also been taken into account in the location of the planning area.

Site Conditions

The wind conditions in the sea area off the Korsnäs shore are ideal, Metsähallitus said.

The average wind speed on the site may exceed 9 metres per second.

The water depth and seabed geology are also well suited for wind power construction. The water depth at the project site is mainly 10 to 15 metres. The richest biodiversity of seabed organisms is found at depths of less than 10 metres. However, the benthic fauna in the area will be surveyed in detail as the project progresses.

Logistics

One of the preconditions for constructing an offshore wind farm is the availability of suitable ports. Three large ports can be found near the Korsnäs project site in Kaskinen, Kristiina and Vaasa. These ports are served by a railway, and Metsähallitus is currently analysing their operational and storage capacity.

The developer is also currently negotiating with the transmission system operator Fingrid on different options for connecting the wind farm to the main grid. These options will also be examined as part of the environmental impact assessment (EIA).

Photo: Tahkoluoto, Finland's first commercial offshore wind farm. Source: Suomen Hyötytuuli Oy