Polish firm PKN Orlen has completed the environmental study for a planned offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea, and has submitted the completed report to the Regional Directorate of Environmental Protection in Gdansk. The report follows 17 months of “extensive surveys” by a 50-strong team, and will be used as part of the project consultation process as well as form part of PKN Orlen’s construction permit application.
“Our offshore wind farm project is crucial not only for PKN Orlen’s strategy to develop low- and zero-carbon generation sources, but also for Poland’s overall energy transformation,” said Daniel Obajtek, President of the PKN Orlen Management Board. “It will deliver nearly 1.2 GW of capacity installed in the Baltic Sea. The completion of the survey and submission of the environmental report for our offshore project mark a milestone heralding profound changes of the entire power generation system in Poland.”
As part of the work, an area of 323 sq km was surveyed using a dedicated aircraft and 18 vessels. The survey covered the geological structure of the seabed, chemical properties of the surrounding waters, as well as the flora and fauna present within the area of the proposed project.
The comprehensive surveys were carried out from October 2018 to February 2020. Almost 5000 litres of sea water were sampled and 400 samples of sea-floor sediments collected. In addition, some 72 core samples were taken up to a depth of several metres under the seabed to prepare an indicative layout of the wind turbines and to help define the optimum type and size of support structures. The presence of marine mammals was detected using underwater hydrophones, as well as an observation aircraft.
PKN Orlen is developing the wind farm through its subsidiary Baltic Power, which holds a licence to construct wind farms with an aggregate capacity of up to 1.2 GW. The licence area, of approximately 131 sq km, is located about 23 km north of the Baltic coastline, at the altitude of Choczewo and Leba. PKN Orlen has already secured grid connection conditions and is now seeking an industry partner and technical adviser to carry out the project.