Government reaches a decision on the Baltic Sea territory where wind turbines will be constructed

Date

2020 06 23

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The Government made the decisions necessary for offshore wind development – a wind farm with a capacity of up to 700 MW is planned to be constructed by 2030 in a Baltic Sea territory nearly 30 kilometres from the shore. Offshore wind, which is one of the most efficient and promising energy sources, will make it possible to increase local power generation from renewable sources.

“By employing offshore wind, we will achieve our ambitious renewable energy targets and reduce electricity imports from other countries. Our goal is to develop offshore wind in the most efficient and competitive way, and this will also be an opportunity to attract world-class investors to Lithuanian energy,” says Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas.

The resolution of the Government provides for the exact part of the Baltic Sea economic zone where the development of wind turbines by 2030 is appropriate, as well as the installed capacity of this wind farm – 700 MW. A wind farm of this capacity in the Baltic Sea can produce approximately 2.5-3 TWh of electricity per year, which is nearly a quarter of Lithuania’s current electricity demand. It is estimated that wind farms of this capacity will pull in as much as EUR 1 billion in private investments. 

The territory planned in the Baltic Sea for the wind turbines covers an area of 137.5 km2, with a distance from shore of approximately 29 km, an average water depth of 35 m, and an average wind speed of approximately 9 m/s. Investors in the wind turbines in the Baltic Sea will be selected by tender. The tenders for the development and operation of these power plants in the marine territory are planned to be organised on 1 February 2023.

Prior to this period, the approved spatial planning and environmental procedures – the special plan and strategic environmental assessment and the environmental impact assessment – will be performed by the Lithuanian Energy Agency.

The Government also approved the Concept for the Development of Wind Turbines in Lithuania’s Marine Territories prepared by the Ministry of Energy, which proposes regulatory changes in accordance with the recommendations of a working group formed from state institutions and social partners.

The Government has entrusted the Ministry of Energy with preparing the necessary bills regulating the support scheme for power plants to be developed in Lithuania’s territorial waters, submitting them to the authorities concerned for coordination, and beginning coordination of the proposed support scheme with the European Commission by 1 July.

Taking into account the experience of other countries and the fact that the development of networks in the marine territory for connecting the planned turbines may take up to eight years, the Government additionally suggested that the transmission system operator begin preparatory work for connecting the turbines that are planned to be developed to the power grids.

The development of offshore wind is one of the goals of the Government’s programme. The programme calls for the potential, need for development and costs of wind energy in the Baltic Sea to be evaluated, and for decisions to be made on the development of wind turbines in the Baltic Sea.

The development of offshore wind in the Baltic Sea is provided for in the National Energy Strategy and the National Energy and Climate Plan.