The Polish Ministry of Infrastructure has announced the results of an offshore wind auction in which it awarded six new project locations on the Polish waters of the Baltic Sea. In the case of five locations, the highest scoring bidder was the ORLEN Group. As a result, the Groupís energy generation potential in offshore wind may soon expand by about 5,200 MW.
ďThe ORLEN Groupís capabilities to carry out large-scale offshore wind development projects are unmatched by any other company in Poland. We owe them to the experience already gained in the Baltic Power project and the construction of Polandís first installation terminal for offshore wind farms. We will leverage our expertise in further wind farm projects, also within the five licence areas we have just been awarded. Such projects may bring the ORLEN Groupís offshore wind capacity up to about 5.8 GW. The planned wind farm developments in the Baltic Sea are a key element of our multi-utility business strategy, but are also crucial to the region's energy security,Ē says Daniel Obajtek, CEO and President of the PKN ORLEN Management Board.
Criteria evaluated in the licence award procedure included a proposed projectís contribution to the achievement of national and EU climate targets, the bidderís relevant experience in energy projects and its ability to finance such projects. The licences secured by the ORLEN Group cover areas located at the latitude of Kolobrzeg and Leba, about 30 kilometres off the coastline.
Investment in offshore wind power is a key development direction for the ORLEN Groupís modern energy segment. Seeing that the Groupís strategy is to achieve about 9 GW of installed renewable capacity by 2030, some of it in offshore wind projects, the Group has taken part in auctions bidding for 11 new location permits. Eventually, it was the highest scoring bidder for five new areas designated for new offshore wind farms. With the awards announced by the Ministry of Infrastructure, the total generation capacity under the ORLEN Groupís licences will increase by about 5.2 GW.
The ORLEN Groupís experience in offshore wind has primarily been gained through the Baltic Power project implemented jointly with the Canadian partner Northland Power. It is the most advanced offshore wind farm development now under way in Poland, as the company has secured contracts for the supply of all key wind farm components. In May 2023, Baltic Power began work to construct onshore infrastructure for delivering electricity produced at sea to the national grid. Located in the municipality of Choczewo, it is the first project of this kind in Poland. The offshore work is scheduled to begin in 2024, so that in 2026 Baltic Power will generate enough electricity to power more than 1.5 million homes.
According to the Groupís plans for its offshore wind segment, it intends to secure and guarantee timely completion of new projects. This is why in October 2022 the ORLEN Group made a strategic decision to build Polandís first installation terminal for offshore wind farms. Located at the Port of Swinoujscie and due for completion in late 2024 or early 2025, the project will rank among Europeís most advanced terminals of its kind. With its wharves and storage yards, it will be capable of handling and installing state-of-the-art 15 MW or larger wind turbines. The terminal will first serve the Baltic Power project, but then it will also support the work of other wind farm developers and new projects to be undertaken by the ORLEN Group in the coming years under the secured licences.