The first offshore wind project to be built in Lithuania’s sector of the Baltic Sea could comprise wind turbines of up to 16 MW of capacity each, with a minimum of 43 units erected at a designated site approximately 29 kilometres offshore.
The possible number and capacity of the wind turbines has been mentioned in the latest press release from the Lithuanian government, which announced on 15 October that an environmental impact assessment (EIA) programme for the project had been prepared.
The programme was prepared following an agreement concluded this August between the Ministry of Energy and the Institute of Coastal Research and Planning on the environmental impact assessment for offshore wind farms to be developed in the Lithuanian maritime territory.
Back in June 2020, the Lithuanian government adopted a resolution to organise a tender for 700 MW of offshore wind and selected a site where the country’s first offshore wind farm will be built. The plan is to hold the auction in 2023, after all the necessary actions and research have been completed.
One of the preparatory works to be carried out before the planned tender is an environmental impact assessment. The EIA will analyse the potential direct and indirect effects of the planned offshore wind project on the environment and public health, and will examine alternatives and mitigation or compensation measures.
Taking into account technology development trends and technical solutions of the existing wind farms in the Baltic and North Seas, and assessing the economic efficiency aspect of the implementation of advanced wind energy technologies, Lithuania’s first offshore wind farm is planned to feature turbines of between 8 MW and 16 MW, and could comprise between 43 and 87 units.
The analysis of alternatives will assess the impact of the offshore wind farm from various aspects and identify alternative measures to reduce the potential impact of installation, operation, and decommissioning, as well as develop alternatives for offshore wind farm capacity and location.
Particular attention will be paid to bird monitoring in the preparation of environmental impact documents, with the survey required to include two summer-winter seasons.
Lithuania plans to finance and develop the offshore wind project using a Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, with a transmission system operator (TSO) responsible for providing grid connection infrastructure, according to earlier information.
This August, Lithuania’s government approved the conclusion of the country’s Ministry of Energy which should allow for better conditions for the development of offshore wind energy in the Baltic Sea.
The legislation sets out proposals which are mainly related to the terms of the future tender and the limits of the responsibilities of the future developer.