The Government of Finland has announced the construction of a 40 MW offshore wind project that will serve as a demonstrator to test the validity of offshore wind in the harsh conditions of the North.
We don’t normally cover “small-scale” renewable energy development unless there is some defining factor that makes the project special. Normally those defining factors relate to the economic development of the country in question, but in situations such as this, covering a country’s first steps into a new renewable energy market is important.
Another reason to cover this installation is the possible impact it will have on Finland’s European Union 2020 Target. A new report from the European Commission published in October concluded uncertainty over whether Finland would make its target.
With that in mind, movement on the 40–44 MW Pori Tahkoluoto project to be located in the Baltic Sea is good news for Finland’s energy make-up — albeit still small news.
The Finnish government selected wind energy company Suomen Hyötytuuli Oy to build the country’s first offshore wind project. The project will be made up of 10 or so turbines, and could begin operating as soon as 2016.
Suomen Hyötytuuli Oy constructed a single turbine outside Tahkoluoto in Meri-Pori in 2010, to act “as a pilot project for offshore wind power in Finland.” The announcement that Suomen Hyötytuuli Oy will continue its work is therefore of little surprise, but is good news nonetheless.
“We received several good applications for the experimental project for offshore wind power. Suomen Hyötytuuli Ltd’s project was considered to be the best one. It will now serve as a trailblazer for Finnish offshore wind power,” said Minister of Economic Affairs Jan Vapaavuori, who signed the decision supporting the project.
“An important aspect of this project is the testing of offshore foundations in practice, also in icy conditions. This development work and other demonstration projects could open up significant business opportunities in many sectors, especially considering that the importance of wind power and offshore wind power in energy production is set to increase in any case.”
Located distressingly close to temperatures you’d rather not deal with, icy open sea conditions are not uncommon in the Baltic Sea. Pack ice is a real concern, and the location of the Tahkoluoto wind farm will help test the overall possibilities for Finland’s offshore wind industry.
The Government of Finland is also contributing 20 million Euros towards the project, and a possible 12 years worth of operating aid.
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