Sweden Designates Ørsted’s Offshore Wind Farm Sites as Energy Areas in Baltic Sea Plans

Several areas offshore Sweden where Ørsted is planning to build wind farms have been designated as energy areas by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management in the review version of the country’s new marine plans for the Baltic Sea.

Ørsted has identified several locations in Sweden for the construction of offshore wind farms. These areas, now designated as energy zones, include Kattegatt, Gävle Öst, Baltic Central, and Skåne. The Skåne offshore wind farm was previously classified as an “alternative investigation area for energy extraction”.

The developer plans to build the Skåne offshore wind farm 22 kilometres south of the Skåne coast. In 2022, the County Administrative Board in Skåne recommended the Swedish government to approve the project. A year later, Ørsted received the Natura 2000 permit for the 1.5 GW offshore wind farm.

“Since we started developing the Skåne Offshore Wind Park in 2017, we have known that areas have very good conditions for supplying green electricity to Skåne, and it is very important that the Maritime and Water Authority has now come reached the same conclusion and elevated the area to Energy area,” said Sebastian Hald Buhl, country manager for Ørsted in Sweden.

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According to Ørsted, the area where the Skåne offshore wind farm is located has been identified to be suitable for fixed foundations, while the environmental impact from energy production in the area is considered low.

Finally, the Swedish Maritime and Water Authority has also assessed that the interests of the Armed Forces in the area are deemed to be able to coexist with interests in energy production, but that special consideration must be given to the interests of the Armed Forces, said the company.

A national consultation on the proposal for updated marine plans was carried out in the autumn of 2023. Now, the updated proposals are made available for review between 16 May and 30 August, before they are sent to the government for decision.

The goal of the updated marine plans is to create conditions for a total of 120 TWh, which is an annual electricity production that would almost mean an increase of 75 per cent compared to the 163 TWh that Sweden produced in 2023, the Swedish Maritime and Water Authority said.

At the same time, some uncertainties remain regarding, for example, natural values and total defense, according to the authority. Therefore, the proposals for updated marine plans contain more areas than what needs to be realized, according to the press release.

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