Poland’s transmission system operator PSE says it plans to invest PLN4.5Bn (approximately US$1.23Bn) by 2030 to bring electricity generated by offshore windfarms in the Baltic to consumers in the northern part of the country
“Offshore wind will change the way the Polish energy sector operates,” said the company. “In order for electricity from windfarms in the Baltic to reach consumers, huge investment will be necessary.
“By 2030, the company will allocate approximately PLN4.5Bn to the construction or modernisation of stations and transmission lines in the Pomeranian Voivodeship (the province in the northwest of Poland with Gdansk as its capital).”
PSE noted that by 2040 offshore wind could be providing the Polish power system with approximately 11 GW of capacity. This is the equivalent to approximately 20% of generating capacity in Poland today.
Companies investing in offshore windfarms will be responsible for bringing power ashore and for grid connection, but as transmission system operator, PSE is responsible for transmitting that electricity to other parts of the country.
PSE has issued grid connection agreements for offshore windfarms with a total capacity of 8.4 GW. It said the first will start producing electricity in 2026, although the Polish Government has suggested the first Polish offshore windfarms could begin generation in 2024/25.
At present, there is very little power generation in the Pomeranian Voivodeship and electricity has to be transmitted to it from other regions. The development of offshore wind will change this situation and energy generated in Pomerania will need to be transmitted to other parts of the country. “To make this possible, PSE must expand its extra-high voltage networks,” said the transmission system operator.
The company said the development of offshore windfarms in Polish waters in the Baltic Sea will require more than 250 km of new high-voltage overhead lines to be installed in Pomeranian Voivodeship alone.
PSE has initiated public consultations for the proposed routes for the power lines and is engaging with institutions, local government authorities and residents in Pomeranian Voivodeship. The company has also initiated an environmental assessment as a precursor to the investment.
In January 2021, the Polish Senate formally adopted the act on promoting electricity generation from offshore windfarms, legislation that was subsequently signed by the President of the Republic of Poland.
The purpose of the act is to use the potential of wind energy in the Baltic and create a legal framework that will support the development of windfarms. The support model provided for in the act is a two-sided contract for difference (CfD), as successfully used in several other countries.
In April 2021, the first offshore windfarms in the country received CfDs from the Poland’s Energy Regulatory Office.
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