Posted on February 20, 2023
Finland is working to develop its capacity for building offshore wind farms despite the challenges created by the unique sea conditions including water depths and freezing seas.
The Ministry of Labor and Economic Affairs granted Finnish wind power producer Suomen Hyötytuuli $32 million for a demonstration project nearby the existing Tahkoluoto offshore wind farm in Pori, on the west coast of Finland. The investment aims to create capabilities for the expansion of the offshore wind power business in Finland and remove significant risks related to offshore wind power construction.
The demonstration project will involve the installation of two 15 MW turbines in front of the existing 44.3MW Tahkoluoto wind farm, which was piloted in 2010 and completed in 2017. When the wind farm was commissioned nearly six years ago, it became Finland’s first offshore wind farm and also the world’s first offshore wind farm in frozen sea conditions.
The goal of the new project is to demonstrate a foundation concept suitable for deeper water and underwater construction methods suited to the Finnish conditions. The estimated power from the demonstration project is about 30MW and the annual production is about 109 gigawatt-hours.
According to the company, the Tahkoluoto area is a natural choice for the demonstration project, as there is a large amount of information about the area. The project can utilize the studies and the partial master plan of the 600 MW Tahkoluoto offshore wind farm extension, currently being developed by Suomen Hyotytuuli.
The demonstration project will be located in the planning area. The demonstration project will be implemented between 2023 and 2026, before the construction of the larger Tahkoluoto wind farm extension.
Suomen Hyötytuuli’s Tahkoluoto expansion comprises a total of 40 wind turbines each with a 15 MW capacity to be located northeast of the current farm. The project’s estimated completion date is 2027 and the annual production of the extension is expected to reach 2,000 gigawatt-hours. Last month, the Tahkoluoto extension proceeded to the permitting stage after the project’s land use plan was approved. This means the project continues with water and building permitting, technical design, and preparations for an investment decision.
“The extension project is a significant step in Suomen Hyötytuuli’s offshore wind power development towards market-based and sustainable energy production. We consider this to be the kick-off for offshore wind power business in Finland,” Toni Sulameri, Managing Director of Suomen Hyötytuuli said after January’s approval.
In addition to the Tahkoluoto, which is located near Pori in the southern portion of the Gulf of Bothnia, the company is also exploring a second site in the northern reaches of the gulf. The preliminary concepts call for 25 to 50 wind turbines in an area located between Raahe and Pyhäjoki.
Suomen Hyötytuuli is owned by eight city energy companies in Finland and is recognized as a pioneer in offshore wind power having dealt with some of the most difficult sea conditions. The company has a patented steel shell structure offshore foundation designed to handle the unique condition. While the company currently has seven wind farms in operation and three under construction, its operations are on land due to the challenges of the sea conditions. They hope to overcome the challenges, providing a model that could be used in other extreme conditions.