Image:Ministry of energy of the Republic of Lithuania
Lithuania is taking strides towards energy independence with the approval of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for its second offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea. This ambitious project, commissioned by the Ministry of Energy, aims to bolster the country’s renewable energy sector and reduce dependence on electricity imports.
The Ministry is set to launch a tender on January 15th of the coming year to select the developer for this 700 megawatt (MW) wind farm. However, it’s worth noting that final approval from the Government is still pending.
Daiva Garbaliauskaitė, Vice-Minister of Energy, emphasized the extensive efforts invested in this milestone. She stated, “Over two years, important surveys and monitoring have been carried out in the Baltic Sea, conclusions and alternatives for the development of the wind farm have been drawn up, and presentations have been made to the public, interest groups and representatives of foreign countries.”
In a bid to prioritize environmental sustainability, the chosen location for the offshore wind farm lies within 2 km of the boundary of the Natura 2000 protected area. Additionally, the wind farm models selected can reach an impressive height of 350 meters.
The Environmental Protection Agency has endorsed the EIA landscape assessment experts’ findings, affirming that the visual impact of the proposed wind farm will be minimal. Furthermore, a comprehensive set of impact mitigation measures have been outlined, which the developer is obligated to implement during both the construction and operation phases.
This project has not only garnered national attention but has also received transboundary evaluation from neighboring countries including Poland, Latvia, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark.
The Ministry of Energy envisions the creation of two offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea, boasting a combined capacity of 1.4 GW. These farms have the potential to generate approximately 6 TWh of green electricity annually, meeting nearly half of Lithuania’s current electricity demand.
The second 700 MW offshore wind farm has received approval for a EUR 193 million state aid scheme from the European Commission. It spans an area of approximately 136.39 km² in the Baltic Sea, situated about 30 kilometers off the coast.
To adhere to the provisions of the Law on Renewable Energy, the Ministry of Energy has undertaken preparatory measures for the second offshore wind farm tender. This includes the approval of a development plan for the offshore area, plans for grid connections, geophysical surveys, and extensive meteorological data collection.
The EIA report, commissioned by the Ministry of Energy, has been conducted by the Public Institution Coastal Research and Planning Institute.