Pre-FEED study of Utilitas offshore wind farm to be completed in January

To confirm the technical and economic feasibility of the Saare-Liivi offshore wind park a study will be carried out with the purpose to identify the most suitable wind turbines, foundation types, logistic solutions, port logistics, and other technical solutions by early 2023.

Utilitas Wind has contracted Ramboll, a renowned international design and engineering consultancy, to analyse the technical solutions for the Saare-Liivi offshore wind farm. The study will support the environmental impact assessment process by providing important input and solutions that would mitigate potential environmental impacts.

“As the first year of environmental studies will soon be completed, it is the right moment to move forward with the development of technical solutions and identify the most optimal wind turbine generators and foundation types for the offshore wind farm, taking into account the preliminary information from the environmental studies,” said Liisa Mällo, Offshore Wind Development Manager at Utilitas Wind. At the beginning of September, at the request of Utilitas Wind pre-construction works were carried out over the entire area of the Saare-Liivi offshore wind farm. During the study, among others, sediment types and structures were identified.

In the context of the energy crisis, the rapid addition of new renewable energy capacities is extremely important for society, as it ensures energy independence, lowers energy prices, and puts significantly less strain on the natural environment compared to fossil fuels. The 1200MW of the first stage of Saare-Liivi offshore wind farm would cover nearly 60% of Estonia’s annual electricity consumption.

„We are very excited to support Utilitas with this important project. At Ramboll, we have experience working on complex offshore wind projects in over 20 countries worldwide and we are very proud to provide expert services for the pre-FEED phase of the project. Saare-Liivi offshore wind park will play a key role in supplying green energy to Estonia and increase energy security in the region”, says Tim Fischer, Global Senior Director of Wind at Ramboll.

In addition to the wind farm’s technical solutions, it is also Ramboll’s task to propose a concept regarding the electrical solution, including the location and technical parameters of the cables, as well as the location and size of the substations. Ports will also play an essential role in developing the offshore wind farm, thus the logistics of construction will be analysed, as well as the possible alternatives for the construction and operation, and maintenance of ports. The pre-feed study will also include economic figures and cost projections. The study will be completed in January 2023.

Suitable areas for offshore wind farms in the Gulf of Riga were defined in the regional plan for the maritime area bordering Pärnu County, adopted in 2017. The CPTRA initiated the building permit procedure for Utilitas Wind’s Saare-Liivi offshore wind farm at the end of 2021. Utilitas Wind aims to obtain the necessary permits for construction in 2025, and by 2028 at the latest, the Saare-Liivi offshore wind farm could be producing environmentally friendly electricity. In the first phase of the development, it is planned to erect around 80 wind turbines with a total capacity of 1,200 MW, according to the technical conditions issued by the TSO, with an expected annual electricity production of more than 5 TWh.

Ramboll is a global architecture, engineering, and consultancy company founded in Denmark in 1945. Ramboll’s 16,500 experts create sustainable solutions across Buildings; Transport; Architecture & Landscape; Water; Environment & Health; Energy and Management Consulting. Within energy, Ramboll is at the forefront of addressing the green transition and offers a holistic approach that supports the energy sector on its journey toward a net-zero future. With 1,600 experts in 14 countries, covering the full spectrum of technologies and all parts of the value chain from production and transmission to distribution, we plan, design and implement energy solutions all over the world.

Utilitas is Estonia’s largest renewable energy producer and district heating company and the biggest wind energy producer in Latvia. In 2021, Utilitas produced 1.7 TWh of heat and 330 GWh of electricity. 66% of the energy was produced from renewable sources. Utilitas is moving towards carbon neutrality by building new renewable energy generation capacity in the region, investing in solar and wind power, and implementing the first green hydrogen pilot project. Utilitas had consolidated revenues of €161 million and assets of €486 million in 2021.