Lithuania's Environmental Protection Agency has given its approval to the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report for the country's ambitious 700MW second offshore wind farm, commissioned by the Ministry of Energy. The tender process to select the developer for this significant project is slated to commence on January 15, 2023, pending government approval of the ministry's proposal.
Daiva Garbaliauskaitė, Vice-Minister of Energy, emphasized the importance of this milestone in strengthening Lithuania's energy independence through the development of offshore wind energy. The project has undergone extensive surveys, monitoring, and public presentations over two years, culminating in the selection of the most environmentally friendly alternative. The proposed site will be situated within 2km of the Natura 2000 protected area, with wind farm models capable of reaching heights of up to 350 meters.
The Environmental Protection Agency has endorsed the conclusions of the EIA landscape assessment experts, stating that the visual impact of the planned offshore wind farm will be insignificant. The agency has also approved the impact mitigation measures and actions to be undertaken by the developer during the construction and operation phases of the project. Additionally, the EIA report underwent a transboundary evaluation involving Poland, Latvia, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark.
The Ministry of Energy's vision includes the development of two 1.4GW offshore wind farms in Lithuania's Baltic Sea territory, with the potential to generate approximately 6TWh of green electricity annually, meeting nearly half of the country's current electricity demand.
The second 700MW offshore wind farm, which has received approval for a €193 million state aid scheme from the European Commission, spans an area of about 136.39 square kilometers in the Baltic Sea, located approximately 30km from the coast. Preparatory work for the tender process is well underway, including the approval of a development plan for the offshore area, grid connection proposals, geophysical and geotechnical surveys, and hydrometeorological parameter measurements.
The EIA report, a crucial step in the offshore wind farm's development, was commissioned by the Ministry of Energy and conducted by the Public Institution Coastal Research and Planning Institute.