17 June 2008
Fortum and Metsähallitus agree to reserve two sea areas in the Bay of Bothnia
for large scale wind power generation
Fortum and Metsähallitus (The National Forest Enterprise) have made a
reservation agreement on the state-owned Pitkämatala and Maakrunni sea areas in
the municipalities of Kemi, Simo and Ii for large scale wind power generation.
Both areas have been marked as wind power areas in the land use plans for
Lapland and Northern Ostrobothnia provinces.
According to a preliminary survey, a 800-900 megawatt offshore wind farm can be
built in the Pitkämatala area and a 350-400 megawatt plant in the Maakrunni
area. The two farms' combined output would equal the annual electricity
consumption of approximately 200,000 detached houses (120 m2) with electric
heating. An environmental impact assessment will be carried out at the beginning
of the project, along with a more detailed evaluation of the areas' wind
conditions. According to initial estimates, the Pitkämatala and Maakrunni wind
farms could probably begin to generate electricity in 2014-2016.
“Fortum strongly supports the increase of CO2-free and renewables-based energy
production and wants to be an active partner in meeting the challenging RES
targets set for Finland by the EU. Our aim is to increase wind power production
substantially by 2025. Besides Maakrunni and Pitkämatala, we are also interested
in other offshore wind sites in Finland. We are currently carrying out a number
of studies on wind power projects in Finland, Sweden and other countries where
Fortum has a business presence. However, it is evident that a sizeable increase
in renewables based energy production, also wind and especially offshore wind
power generation is not commercially viable with current power prices. We
consider that green certificates implemented at Nordic level would be the most
cost efficient and hence cheapest way of supporting renewable energy sources for
the consumers," says Vice President Arja Koski, who is responsible for Fortum's
wind power investments.
“Metsähallitus supports the construction of wind farms in suitable areas and,
for its part, wants to promote the increased use of renewable energy. The
Pitkämatala and Maakrunni areas in the Bay of Bothnia will now be the focus of
an environmental impact assessment. This will also allow people living in the
vicinity of these areas to voice their views in the matter. If there are grounds
for proceeding with these projects, Metsähallitus will agree on more precise
project-specific co-operation with Fortum at a later date,” says Director Antero
Luhtio from Metsähallitus.
Jouni Tolonen, Area Manager, Wind Finland, Fortum Generation's Renewables unit,
Director Antero Luhtio, Metsähallitus, tel. +358-400-459969