Polish state-owned energy company PGE Baltica has presented an update to its proposals to build two wind farms in the Baltic Sea at the Maritime Economy Forum.
Work on the wind farms, which will generate 2.5 GW of power combined, is due to start in 2022 and be installed by 2035. The proposed farms are situated 20 km from the Polish coastline and are expected to create maintenance work for 25 years with the first electricity coming online from 2025–26.
With 9 m/s average wind speed, the Baltic provides a good location for the farms, Radoslaw Pachecki from PGE said. He added that while the Atlantic was only being developed as a location for wind farms – owing to unknowns such as water depths and wave behaviour, the Baltic will rank second in terms of offshore wind production in the future with a capacity of 12 GW, surpassed by the North Sea locations. Pachecki said that in 2030, 4.6 GW will be generated in the Baltic, and 10 GW will be generated by 2040. This translates to being able to supply a quarter of Poland’s projected total power consumption by offshore wind.
Wojciech Szczurek, the mayor of Gdynia said, “Poland’s current energy demand is 41 GW and growing,” he said. “But coal is not the future and it is estimated that by 2035 it will be necessary to close down 20 gigawatts of aging coal power stations in Poland. As a result, there is a massive responsibility to make the Baltic wind farm happen.”
To help support the Baltic wind farm project, two of the prime organisations leading Poland’s offshore sector have signed an agreement as part of the forum. The Polish Offshore Wind Energy Society and the Polish Maritime Technology Forum partnership will encourage knowledge exchange and co-operation between a wide range of businesses and stakeholders in the offshore and maritime sector.
The presentation by PGE Baltica at the forum comes after key stakeholders – the Port of Gdynia, Kosakowo commune, the city of Rumia, and the city of Gdynia – announced plans to work together to support the construction of the Baltic wind farms. The partners signed a letter of intent in August examining the need for port and industrial services infrastructure on land to support the project.