Van Oord buys into Saare Wind Energy

PRESS RELEASE – Van Oord has become a shareholder in Saare Wind Energy, which is developing the Saaremaa offshore wind farm in Estonia. The collaboration with Van Oord allows Saare to intensify the development process for this project as financial support and knowledge are combined.

Saare is developing an area of up to 200 square kilometres southwest of the Estonian island Saaremaa. The area could facilitate an offshore wind farm of over 1 GW. The development of the wind farm started in 2015 and in May 2020, the Estonian government decided that the company can proceed with the location permit procedure and the associated Environmental Impact Assessment.

Integration of Baltic countries

On 30 September 2020, the energy ministers of Poland, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany and Sweden, along with representatives of the European Commission signed the ‘Baltic declaration for offshore wind energy’; a joint declaration on the development of offshore wind power and efficient electricity infrastructure to facilitate the transmission of renewable energy to the Baltic Sea countries.

The declaration is intended to bring about cooperation in the development of offshore wind power on the Baltic Sea. Hybrid projects, offshore wind farms in combination with interconnectors to neighbouring countries, will become major footholds for the development of this offshore electricity infrastructure. This marks a change in offshore wind from separate offshore wind farms towards meshed offshore networks and energy hubs.

The Saaremaa offshore wind farm location offers a unique opportunity for such a hybrid project. The combination of good wind resources, an offshore wind location in line with the Marine Spatial Plan and the opportunity to develop interconnectors across the Baltic Sea to Sweden and Latvia, give Estonia the opportunity to take first steps in implementing the vision of the Baltic Sea declaration, the Van Oord and Saare state.

Author: Tobias Pieffers

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