Stockholm-based wind farm and solar developer OX2 has applied for a permit to build a massive 5.5 gigawatt (GW) offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea. If approved, it will be the largest single offshore wind farm in the world.

World’s largest single offshore wind farm

Ørsted’s Hornsea in the North Sea has 7.5 GW of total capacity, but it’s made up of four separate offshore wind farms. The Swedish offshore wind farm, which will be called Aurora, will be bigger than the 4.8 GW Dogger Bank, which is off the Yorkshire coast in the UK and due to be completed in 2026.

Aurora will be sited in the Swedish Economic Zone, about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) from the island of Gotland and 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) from the island of Öland. 

The $18 billion offshore wind farm will feature up to 370 wind turbines with a maximum height of 370 meters (1,213 feet). For perspective, the Empire State Building is 381 meters, or 1,250 feet tall.

OX2 does not indicate which wind turbines it will use in its announcement. The tallest turbines currently available are 242 meters (794 feet) high and made by MingYang Smart Energy.

Here’s where it gets mind-blowing: Aurora’s electricity production will be about 24 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year. That’s enough power for around 5 million households, or about 17% of the total electricity consumption in Sweden. (This is why I’m an offshore wind geek.)

The wind farm’s first phase of construction is expected to begin in 2028. Aurora is expected to start producing energy in 2030.

OX2 notes that it has previously applied for a Natura 2000 permit for Aurora. As the European Commission’s website explains, “Natura 2000 sites have been designated specifically to protect core areas for a subset of species or habitat types listed in the Habitats and Birds Directives.”

As of the end of first quarter 2022, OX2 has 11.7 GW of renewable electricity projects in development in Sweden.

Photo: Joakim Lagercrantz/OX2

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