Race for New Offshore Wind Acreage Starts in Poland
Polish energy companies PKN Orlen and PGE have separately submitted multiple applications for location permits to develop offshore wind farms in newly designated areas of the Polish Baltic Sea.
The Polish Ministry of Infrastructure opened a 60-day window for developers to apply for location permits to build and operate offshore wind farms in the new areas on 21 January.
There are 11 areas for which developers can submit their applications to build and operate offshore wind farms, as well as energy islands.
PKN Orlen has submitted applications for seven licences and will apply for the remaining four once the next stage of the administrative procedure is launched.
The total capacity that could be developed in the areas covered by the applications is estimated at around 7 GW, the company said.
By applying for the largest possible number of licences, PKN Orlen wants to take advantage of the economies of scale and its track recording of implementing offshore wind energy projects.
”The ORLEN Group Strategy 2030 identifies energy generation based primarily on renewable sources as a key growth area,” said Daniel Obajtek, President of the PKN ORLEN Management Board.
”Our plans to build low- and zero-carbon power generating capacities rely on the most efficient technologies available today that will enable us to modernise this business segment. Therefore, we aim to invest in offshore wind farms as a key development direction for the Group and the Polish economy as a whole. We have the expertise and resources needed to lead this process. Hence the drive to secure the largest possible number of new licences. This is vital in order to achieve the desired economies of scale that would enable Polish firms maximise contribution and participate in the business processes related to the offshore wind value chain.”
Given its high production efficiency, offshore wind power generation is the fastest-growing renewable energy source in Europe, PKN Orlen said. About 2.2 GW of capacity has been installed in the Baltic Sea to date, and experts estimate the figure could reach as much as 93 GW by 2050. The potential of the Baltic Sea lies primarily in favourable conditions for wind power generation – it has low salinity, waters are relatively shallow and winds are strong throughout the year.
According to the Poland Energy Policy 2040, between 9 GW and 11 GW of offshore wind capacity is to be developed in Polish waters.
Expansion of the energy potential in the Baltic is among the key development projects of the ORLEN Group carried out through its subsidiaries ORLEN Neptun and Energa Morskie Farmy Wiatrowe, the company said. One of those projects is the Baltic Power offshore wind farm being developed in partnership with Canada’s Northland Power. Construction is due to start in 2024 and end in 2026. Located about 23 kilometres off the coastline near Łeba and Choczewo, the 1.2 GW wind farm will ultimately power up to one million households in Poland.
By the end of the decade, PKN Orlen plans to spend PLN 47 billion (around EUR 10.4 billion) on energy projects, including offshore wind.
PGE has submitted applications for six location permits.
Two of the applications were submitted jointly with Enea, and one jointly with Tauron, according to Wojciech Dąbrowski, President of the Management Board of PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna.
Currently, PGE is implementing investments in the Baltic Sea with a total capacity of approximately 3.5 GW based on three location permits obtained in 2012.
The strategic goal of the PGE Group in the offshore energy area is to build at least 6.5 GW of capacity by 2040.
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