Swedish gigawatt-scale offshore wind farm receives key environmental permit

A potential 5.5 GW offshore wind farm project in the Swedish Economic Zone has been granted a Natura 2000 permit by the County Administrative Board of Gotland.

The wind farm, dubbed Aurora, consisting of up to 370 turbines with a maximum height of 370 m is being proposed outside the islands of Gotland and Öland by Stockholm-based developer OX2 in partnership with Ingka, the largest IKEA retailer.

The project developers estimate the wind farm could produce up to 24 TWh a year if the entire area is constructed, which corresponds to the yearly consumption of about 5m households and reduces emissions of CO2 by about 14m tonnes. 

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“Aurora is a wind farm that can really make a real difference and act as a motor in the net zero transition in the southern parts of Sweden. The large-scale production from Aurora would facilitate more local electricity production to be developed as well as hydrogen production to help decarbonise industry and heavy transports, said Emelie Zakrisson, OX2’s head of development of offshore wind in Sweden.

Natura 2000 sites have been designated specifically to protect core areas for a sub-set of species or habitat types listed in the Habitats and Birds Directives, and this permit is one of several that need to be in place to move the gigawatt-scale project forward.

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OX2 and Ingka said the next step is for Gotland authorities to propose to the government that the wind farm can be built according to the Act of Sweden’s exclusive economic zone. If approved, construction could start in 2028, with first power expected before 2030.

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