Swedish Offshore Wind Site Could House Large-Scale Seaweed Farm

Swedish renewable energy developer OX2 has signed letters of intent with companies Kobb and Nordic Seafarm to investigate opportunities for large-scale cultivation of seaweed at its Galatea-Galene offshore wind farm in Sweden.

Seaweed cultivation absorbs carbon dioxide from eutrophication such as nitrogen and phosphorus from the sea and is circulated back to land as food, OX2 said, further adding that the move would also create new jobs in the region.

In a joint statement, Benjamin Ajo, Chairman of the Board of Kobb, and Simon Johansson, CEO of Nordic SeaFarm, said: “We see great opportunities, in collaboration with both the fishing industry and the wind power industry, to both maintain and create new jobs when we investigate the possibilities of creating a new industry in Sweden in the form of large-scale aquaculture”.

“Developing the national food supply while farms contribute to stopping the negative effects of climate change are more positive aspects”.

The Galatea-Galene offshore wind farm is divided into two areas within the Swedish economic zone off the coast, with the Galatea site located about 25 kilometres offshore Falkenberg and Galene about 25 kilometres off Varberg, both in the Swedish county of Halland.

The gigawatt-scale wind farm is planned to comprise up to 101 wind turbines and produce approximately 6-7 TWh per year, which corresponds to an annual electricity consumption for about 1.2 million households, according to OX2.

According to the project documentation available online, Galatea-Galene could comprise a maximum of 101 turbines of a 15 MW output, or 68 units if an individual turbine capacity is 25 MW, putting the project capacity between 1,515 MW and 1,700 MW.

“In addition to adding a large amount of new Swedish renewable electricity to southern Sweden, opportunities for synergies for the region, the fishing industry and aquaculture are now being added. We will now together investigate the potential for large-scale, sustainable and commercially profitable aquaculture, implemented it will create new jobs for the region”, said Hillevi Priscar, country manager for OX2 Sweden.

OX2 applied for a Natura 2000 permit with the County Administrative Board of Halland and submitted an application under the Act on Sweden’s Exclusive Economic Zone to construct the offshore wind farm in late 2021, and for a permit under the Continental Shelf Act in early 2022.

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Last month, OX2 announced it was selling a 49 per cent stake in its up to 9 GW portfolio of offshore wind projects to the investment arm of Ingka Group, the largest retailer in the IKEA franchisee system.

The three projects are the up to 1.7 GW Galatea-Galene, the 1.8 GW Triton (located off the coast of Skåne), and the 5.5 GW Aurora (located off the coast of Gotland and Öland).

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Photo: Galatea-Galene from visualization point at Varberg Fortress; Source: OX2 application documents