Offshore wind farms: environmental impact assessment report presented to public

As Lithuania seeks to develop offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea and reduce the country's dependence on electricity imports, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the offshore wind farm was presented in Palanga. A tender to select a developer for the park is expected to be launched in the autumn.

"Offshore wind farms, together with onshore renewable energy projects, will make a major contribution to Lithuania's energy independence. One offshore wind farm tender is already underway and another tender is planned for the autumn to select prospective developers. The fast pace is dictated by both the geopolitical situation and the national ambition to generate our own electricity at an attractive price," said Daiva Garbaliauskaitė, Deputy Minister of Energy.

According to D. Garbaliauskaitė, the development of offshore wind farms will not only attract private investment to Lithuania, create new jobs, and provide local businesses with additional orders, but will also benefit coastal communities. Once the offshore wind farm is built, coastal communities will receive an annual payment of EUR 1 per 1 MWh of electricity generated. Preliminary estimates suggest that this could amount to around EUR 3 million per year.

The EIA report assessed an offshore wind farm with a capacity of up to 700 MW in Lithuanian territorial waters in the Baltic Sea, about 30 km from the coast. This farm is also subject to wind speed and other parameter measurements, geological and geophysical surveys of the seabed and other preparatory work.

Following an expert assessment of the state-of-the-art offshore wind technologies and taking into account the technical solutions for wind farms in the Baltic and North Seas, the EIA report chooses offshore wind farm models of 20 MW or more for analysis. The EIA report is expected to be finalised by this autumn. The final decision on the feasibility of the analysed alternatives will be taken by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EIA report on the offshore wind farm has been commissioned by the Ministry of Energy and the assessment has been carried out and the report has been prepared by the Public Institution Coastal Research and Planning Institute.

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