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Off shore wind farm

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Off shore wind farm

When Polenergia launched the development of projects in the exclusive Polish economic zone of the Baltic Sea, it saw enormous potential in them for Poland as early as in 2010. In 2018 it established cooperation with Equinor for the joint execution of the MFW Bałtyk II and MFW Bałtyk III projects. In December 2019, it signed a cooperation agreement for the execution of the MFW Bałtyk I project. The total capacity of the projects developed by the companies is 3,000 MW.

3000 MW – total capacity of projects developed by Polenergia in partnership with Equinor

Project name MFW Bałtyk I MFW Bałtyk II MFW Bałtyk III
Wind farm capacity [MW] 1560 720 720
Distance from shore [km] 80 37 22
Total surface area [km2] 128,53 122 119,52
Depth of water [m] 25-35 23-41 25-39
Average wind speed [m/s] 9-10 9-10 9-10

Legal framework for the development of wind farms in the Baltic Sea

The Act on the Promotion of Electricity Generation in Offshore Wind Farms signed by the President of the Republic of Poland in January 2021 is a milestone in energy transition efforts. The acts sets out the legal framework for the construction of first offshore wind farms in Poland and allows for full utilization of the potential of the Baltic Sea for electricity production.

Status of development of offshore wind farm projects

The special-purpose vehicles have obtained final non-appealable decisions on environmental conditions for the construction of MFW Bałtyk II Offshore Wind Farm (March 2017) and MFW Bałtyk III Offshore Wind Farm (July 2016) along with connection agreements, as well as a valid decision on environmental conditions for the construction of transmission infrastructure (March 2019).

For the purposes of MFW Bałtyk II and MFW Bałtyk III projects, a preliminary study of seabed geology has been executed and a two-year wind measurement campaign has been carried out using the LIDAR system. Thanks to the confirmed outstanding wind conditions, it will be possible to use the wind energy effectively in this area.

Detailed seabed surveys were performed for the MFW Bałtyk II and MFW Bałtyk III projects in the area of future offshore wind farms, to detect and neutralize potential unexploded shells or other objects that could jeopardize the safety of the planned foundation works for the wind turbines. During the exploration, which lasted from August to September 2020, no objects were found that could constitute a threat for the construction of offshore wind farms.

The final investment decision for the MFW Bałtyk II and MFW Bałtyk III wind farms is scheduled for 2023, which will enable supply of first electricity to the grid in 2026. The production capacity of both farms should be 1440 MW, which will provide enough electricity to power more than 2 million households.

The third project, MFW Bałtyk I Offshore Wind Farm, has a valid location permit and conditions for connection received from the transmission system operator (January 2021). Currently, a comprehensive pre-investment program of sea environment studies is carried out to assess the environmental impact of MFW Bałtyk I, which is the milestone on the way to obtaining a decision on environmental conditions – one of the key documents necessary to execute the project.

The anticipated farm service life is 25–30 years.

Declaration of cooperation for development of offshore wind energy in Poland

Polenergia, acting in partnership with Equinor, signed a letter of intent on cooperation for development of offshore wind energy in Poland (Polish Offshore Wind Sector Deal). As part of the work conducted in respective working groups, it has shared its knowledge and experience and has actively participated in the work, which should eliminate barriers and create mechanisms and solutions supporting growth of this sector in Poland. A representative of Polenergia leads the work in one of the working groups: ”Stakeholder Cooperation” – devoted to the co-existence of offshore wind farms with other forms of using sea surface.

Building an ethical supply chain for offshore wind farm projects

Polenergia executes projects in the Polish zone of the Baltic Sea and it is committed to the development of local resources at each stage of the work. It employed Polish contractors for analyses, expert opinions, environment studies and documentation created for the purpose of first location and environmental decisions.

As an investor planning long-term commitment to the development of offshore wind energy projects, Polenergia cooperates with its partner Equinor to implement a comprehensive action plan for the coming years to support Polish suppliers in building competitive advantages so that they can successfully enter the supply chains of offshore wind farm projects. Active involvement of Polish companies in building competence, initiating dialog with industry players or supporting them in promotion on foreign markets are some of the key activities to support the development of the potential of Polish suppliers.

In May 2019, Polenergia and Equinor supported by the Polish Offshore Wind Energy Society organized an event named “Supplier’s Day”, which allowed suppliers to meet directly and become acquainted with the project team. The event was attended by 225 firms, which took part in 156 direct meetings. The goal of the “Supplier’s Day” was to familiarize Polish companies with the key parameters of the MFW Bałtyk II and MFW Bałtyk III projects, present to them the Company’s procurement procedures and strategies and to allow the Company’s project team to understand the characteristics of the Polish industry better.

Continuing their dialog with suppliers, in October 2020 Polenergia and its partner Equinor organized an event named “Workshop for MFW Bałtyk II and MFW Bałtyk III suppliers”. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the series of six workshops was carried out online. The workshops allowed Polish firms to initiate relations and dialog with international suppliers of offshore energy technology. The indirect purpose of the activity was to provide support to Polish suppliers to begin the certification process as soon as possible, which will enable more firms to participate in the supply chain of the planned offshore wind farms.

In 2021, MFW Bałtyk II and MFW Bałtyk III received decisions issued by the President of the Energy Regulatory Office granting them the right to cover the negative energy balance, which represents systemic support for energy production in offshore wind farms. At the same time, the Supply Chain Plans submitted by these projects were published on the Regulator’s website

As the ERO President’s decision on the right to cover the negative balance was pursued, the MFW Bałtyk II and MFW Bałtyk III projects developed the Supply Chain Plans required by law, which were published on the Energy Regulatory Office’s website. At present, the Projects have started implementing these plans as well as the so-called “5 Flagship Programs”, which set out the activities and measures in the area of communication, competence, competitiveness, innovation and port logistics.

Stakeholder dialog campaign

In 2014-2016, Polenergia Group carried out the first in Poland comprehensive stakeholder dialog campaign associated with the development of offshore wind farm projects.

The first stage of the campaign involved the analysis of risk of potential social and environmental conflicts related to the preparation and implementation of MFW Bałtyk III. In this stage the key stakeholders were identified and a multiple-stage information and consultation process addressed to each target group was planned. The activities included among others: individual meetings, meetings with fishing organizations, presentations during local government sessions, knowledge contests for children from primary schools and information points.

The Regional and General Directors for Environmental Protection and the Maritime Authority in Słupsk were important partners in the dialog and the process of preparing environmental impact assessments and the scope of studies on the impact of the project. The reports for offshore wind farms were also based on environmental studies. The methodology and scope of the studies and impact assessments were discussed and consulted with the relevant authorities, with the participation of domestic and international experts. That was the first such a comprehensive and long-term research program for investment projects in the Polish zone of the Baltic Sea. Polenergia ensured transparent and widespread communication of its activities through thematic project websites. It presented and explained the impact of the project on the environment, society and local economy. After the results of the research and impact assessment were presented, the company accepted comments, responded to questions and made sure to obtain positions of the relevant administration authorities.

The campaign for MFW Bałtyk III lasted from November 2014 to November 2015. All activities were carried out in close cooperation with local opinion leaders and partner organizations. In 2016, Polenergia launched another social campaign and presented another project, MFW Bałtyk II. Within the framework of these activities, meetings were also organized with local governments, maritime administration, fishermen community and residents.

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