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Enefit and Ørsted planning to build a multi-billion-euro offshore wind farm

Estonia's Enefit and Denmark's Ørsted signed a memorandum of understanding to build a 1.5-2 billion euro offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea before 2030, potentially covering half of Estonia’s and Latvia’s current electricity needs.

“The Baltic Sea area is becoming a centre for offshore wind build-out which will contribute significantly to the decarbonisation efforts of both, the region and the European economy,” Rasmus Errboe, Head of Region Continental Europe at Ørsted, said.

Enefit’s Chairman of the Management Board, Hando Sutter mentioned that the strategic goal of the company is to increase renewable energy production, according to ERR. Offshore wind offers a clear green path forward for decarbonisation of the Baltic countries and will be able to deliver large-scale, zero-carbon electricity.

According to business daily Äripäev, the offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Riga before 2030 could be built with a capacity of 1–2 gigawatts. When in use, it can generate up to 8 terawatt-hours of electricity, which is approximately half of all electricity consumption in Estonia and Latvia combined.

“With the right regulatory framework in place, offshore wind can deliver large-scale green energy in Estonia and Latvia before 2030,” Errboe said.

“The construction of offshore wind farms, like the Liivi or North Western Estonia (Hiiumaa) project, could create the conditions for the emergence of a new industry with professional competences and highly qualified long-term jobs in the fields of energy, transport, and logistics. During the construction of an offshore wind farm of this size, thousands of jobs will be created, including in Estonia and Latvia,” Sutter noted.

“Estonia is happy to welcome Ørsted, a Danish multinational power company, to apply its power generating experience in our waters,” said Sulev Alajõe, Director of Regional Business Development in West Estonia at Estonian Investment Agency. “It is the largest energy company in Denmark. As of 2020, the company is the world’s largest developer of offshore wind power, accounting for 29% of global installed capacity and producing 88% of their energy from renewable sources. The company has a goal of net-zero generation by the year 2025 and no carbon emissions by 2040. Since 2019, it has been ranked the world’s most sustainable energy company in the Corporate Knights Global 100 Index,” Alajõe explained.

According to Alajõe, the chosen offshore area clearly marks the transfer of electricity production from fossil-based north-east to the best wind parks potential in the west of the country, causing the need of strengthening power transmission capacities by both Estonian and Latvian TSO. Being the closest site to the mainland, according to the maritime spatial planning, Ørsted’s current Bornholm hydrogen project can serve as the model for launching the greenest hydrogen production in Estonia as well. Port of Pärnu’s abilities to host a hydrogen terminal for railway, aviation and road transport, acting also as hydrogen export gateway, need to be further examined during the offshore wind park preparation works.

As part of the MoU, Ørsted and Enefit intend to establish a joint venture for the development of offshore wind opportunities in the Baltic countries, including the Liivi offshore wind project in the Estonian part of the Gulf of Riga.

Ørsted is the global leader in offshore wind. Enefit is a state-owned energy group, a leading utility and the largest wind energy company in the Baltics.

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