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Estonia steps ahead in green energy with a massive wind farm move

Estonia emerges as a green energy leader in the Baltic region, with Deep Wind Offshore winning a major auction to build a massive wind farm near Saaremaa island.

Estonian green energy ambitions are among the most progressive in Europe, with a strong focus on wind energy. This is not just talk: the Baltic countries have agreed to open areas for offshore wind production with a total capacity of 20 GW within 2030. This is more than significant—currently, the total electricity consumption for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania is around 26,675 GWh, according to AST.

Estonia has set the pace, offering some of the best spots in the Baltic region for international and domestic investors and providing other support measures. In the most recent development, the winner of the Saare 2.1 sea area auction was announced last week—Deep Wind Offshore AS submitted a winning bid of over €2,4M.

The area is located outside Saaremaa Island in Saare county, with favourable conditions for efficient energy production. According to estimations, this part of the Baltic Sea boasts average wind speeds of 8-9 m/s at a height of 100 meters above sea level, which makes it perfect for this type of generation. Traditionally known for its Viking heritage and outstanding nature, Saaremaa is in now transforming into an energy hub of the future.

Deep Wind Offshore AS, an international developer with a presence in Norway, South Korea, and Sweden, will build a large offshore wind farm in the 163.8 km² Saare 2.1 area, potentially installing up to 98 wind turbines with a total capacity of 1560 MW. The potential is huge—as of 2023, Estonia’s peak electricity consumption was 1591 MW. The new wind farm alone could potentially cover almost the entire country’s peak demand, although facilities of this kind usually operate at a lower capacity factor.

Kjetil Jacobsen, Tender Manager in Deep Wind Offshore and Merike Kaesveld, investment adviser from Estonian investment agency. Photo: Petter Sveindal

“Estonia is turning ambitions into action, and we are really excited to have been awarded this site. Deep Wind Offshore will contribute to the country reaching its climate goals, providing energy security, building value chains, and creating new jobs”, CEO Knut Vassbotn of Deep Wind Offshore says.

“Such projects come only to the countries which prepared their legislation and really want to achieve green goals. Stability of government and clear political will to change electricity production from renewable energy are always strong message. Work with this kind of important project takes time and effort, to build a trust towards new country on eyes of potential investors takes time. As it’s now being in a very early stage, it’s still difficult to say when exactly the park will be once operational. But potentially it will provide up to 100 high-paying jobs and even more opportunities in a value chain around it,” says Merike Kaesveld, investment adviser from Invest Estonia.

The next steps involve obtaining the necessary permits and conducting an environmental impact assessment. Meanwhile, the auction for the neighbouring Saare 2.2 sea area is just around the corner, taking place from June 26th to 28th.

The overall success of Estonia in turning to green energy is already apparent — 53% of the country’s electricity generation in 2023 was coming from renewables, an all-time record.

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