Lithuania pours € 7.5 million into preparation for first offshore wind tender

Lithuanian government has allocated € 7.5 million to prepare for its first offshore wind tender and the development of the first 700 MW of offshore wind capacity in its part of the Baltic Sea.

The funds will support environmental impact assessments and other studies and surveys to be carried out from 2021 until 2023 in preparation for the country’s first offshore wind tender, planned to be launched in 2023.

The government’s fund allocation came after the Investment Committee assessed and approved Ministry of Energy’s “Preparatory works for the development of wind power plants in the Lithuanian maritime territory” proposition in November.

The Ministry of Energy outlined the necessary research to be undertaken for offshore wind development, including environmental impact assessments, wind resource and meteorological measurements and seabed surveys, which will require a € 7.5 million investment until 2024. According to the Ministry’s proposition, the Lithuanian Energy Agency is in charge of these studies and surveys. 

The Energy Agency has announced an international public procurement for the preparation of a special plan for the development of renewable energy laid out in the Lithuanian Master Plan and a corresponding strategic environmental assessment. The tender is open until 21 December, with the selected supplier expected to prepare the plan and carry out the strategic environmental assessment within 18 months of signing the contract.

In June, Lithuanian government approved plans for the development of a 700 MW offshore wind project by 2030, for which a tendering process will be launched in 2023. The area selected for the development of the project covers 137.5 square kilometres, with a distance from shore of approximately 29 kilometres, an average water depth of 35 metres, and an average wind speed of approximately 9 m/s.

In September, Ocean Winds, an offshore wind joint venture between Engie and EDPR, and Ignitis Group, Lithuania’s state-controlled energy holding company, announced that they would jointly participate in the country’s first auction for offshore wind.

Lithuania has been active with offshore wind plans outside this tender as well. Just recently, Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Flemish Minister of Energy Zuhal Demir, under which Lithuania and Flanders will explore and realise joint investments in renewable energy initiatives and work together on the development of joint offshore wind projects in the Baltic Sea.