Van Oord joins Estonian developer Saare Wind Energy in the development of the 600 MW Saarmemaa offshore wind farm south-west of the Estonian island Saaremaa in the Baltic Sea.
Saare Wind Energy started the development of the project in 2015 on basis of a thorough analysis and ample spatial planning experiences. The developers are now waiting for a positive decision from the Estonian authorities. The discussions that lead to the agreement were supported by the Estonian Investment Agency. Following a positive outcome, the Environmental Impact Assessment will take place. In April 2019, the Estonian government decided not to proceed with the application for the wind farm, citing security concerns.
The Saaremaa site which covers 154 square kilometres and is expected to feature 100 6 MW turbines, is said to offer good wind conditions. According to Van Oord, the offshore wind farm can act as a foothold for the development of an international Baltic Grid. Van Oord and Saare Wind Energy will work together with local and national Estonian stakeholders. This is a precondition for the upcoming permit process and the subsequent construction of the project.
The Saarema offshore wind farm is one of the wind farms under development in Estonia. In December 2019, the Estonian government approved the start of the permit process and environmental impact assessment for three wind farms; one planned by Tuuletraal (380 MW), an initiative by Five Wind Energy for one wind turbine of 4 MW and one by Eesti Energia (1 GW), The latter is a joint effort of Estonia and Latvia.