January 24 (Renewables Now) - The Finnish government last week awarded research permits to three offshore wind projects in an area located within the country’s exclusive economic zone.
Wpd Finland Oy, part of German renewables developer Wpd AG, has secured a permit to conduct a survey west of the municipality of Jakobstad, Ostrobothnia region. The Finnish arm of Swedish renewables developer OX2 AB (STO:OX2) will also do studies in this area and also west of Hailuoto municipality in the Northern Ostrobothnia region.
All studies are planned to be conducted in 2022 and 2023, the government said on Thursday. The developers for the offshore wind projects will be selected by the government once the environmental impact assessment (EIA) has been completed.
The pre-construction studies, representing an investment of several million euros, are currently considered to be of substantial risk as, according to current legislation, it is possible to award a research permit for one area to multiple developers. The company carrying out the studies is not given priority in the competitive selection process.
The government said that it will assess the need for adopting specific procedures for the use of Finland’s exclusive economic zone for offshore wind deployment.
Last month, Metsahallitus, the Finnish Forest Administration, launched a process to select a partner for a 1.3-GW offshore wind project in territorial waters about 15 km-30 km from the coast. A tender for the Korsnas scheme is due to be completed this year.