About the project

What benefits will the construction of offshore wind farms bring?

Three wind farms by Equinor and Polenergia will increase installed capacity in Poland by about 5 percent. They will supplement the capacity of conventional power plants, which will be gradually shut down due to age and technical condition. Offshore wind farms will produce a significant amount of electricity, while eliminating emissions of harmful, life- and health-threatening substances.

The implementation of wind projects will be associated with the demand for products and services of Polish entrepreneurs, which means a huge opportunity for the development of domestic companies and multi-billion dollar investments. The growing industry can become a development impulse for the entire economy, especially in Pomerania, which will be the focal point of many of the investments. New jobs, both in the construction and operation of offshore wind farms and those generated indirectly by component and service suppliers, will also be key benefits. The development of offshore wind energy is also an opportunity for the development of Polish ports and smaller towns, as well as tangible financial support for local governments from additional tax revenues.

How do offshore wind farms work?

Wind at sea reaches a higher and more consistent speed than on land. Offshore wind farms use it to produce clean and renewable electricity. To make the most of this potential, we put very large turbines at sea. The energy they produce is transmitted through cables buried under the seabed.

How much energy will offshore wind farms generate?

Just 10 minutes of operation of one such turbine is enough to cover the annual energy needs of a Polish household. Just one turn of the turbine's rotor generates enough energy for a household for as many as four days.

Our three projects with a total capacity of about 3 GW will meet the energy needs of more than 4 million households. The total installed capacity of all electricity sources in Poland in November 2022 was about 60 GW. So the Baltyk I, II and III OWFs will increase Poland's installed capacity by about 5%. One turbine can provide energy for 18,000 Polish households per year.

If the potential of the Polish Baltic Sea zone is exploited, offshore wind power could satisfy up to 57% of Poland's total electricity demand.

What are the dimensions of offshore wind farm turbines?

The Baltyk II and Baltyk III projects are planned to install the most modern Siemens Gamesa turbines available for offshore wind power, with a capacity of up to 15 MW.  The total height of the turbine is 260 m, more than that of the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw (237 m) . The length of the blades is between 107 and 115 m, more than the wingspan of an Airbus 380 (80 m). The total weight of the turbine - from the foundations to the blades - is 1,400 to 2,000 tons, equivalent to the weight of about 1,200 passenger cars.

How does the land route of the cable go?

Energy from all three wind farms will be brought ashore at Lędowo. The cables will be routed using a trenchless method through an underground passage on the border between sea and land. From here, energy from the Baltyk II and III OWFs will flow further to the PSE Słupsk-Wierzbięcino substation, and from the Baltyk I OWF to the Krzemienica substation.

For suppliers

What is local content?

Local content means participation of Polish companies in the supply chain for Polish offshore wind farms. Such a solution will contribute to strengthening the competitiveness of the Polish offshore industry in the domestic market, and potentially in the European and global markets in the future.

How do you implement the premise of local content in Poland?

For several years, we have been conducting an intensive dialogue with potential domestic suppliers in order to identify the potential of their services and supplies and to help prepare them to participate in the supply chain at the implementation and operation stages. During this time, investors held numerous local visits to domestic suppliers, conducted individual meetings and organized seminars and workshops. Such as the Supplier's Day, which we organized together with the preferred turbine supplier Siemens Gamesa. The meeting was attended by more than 100 companies that could become potential suppliers of components and services. It is aimed at significantly increasing the chances of Polish suppliers to participate in projects. These are extremely important activities, because the proper preparation of Polish companies to participate in this large investment project may have an impact on the pace of investment implementation.

Who will benefit from these investments?

The development of offshore wind energy means real economic benefits: new industries, new jobs and an opportunity to build competitive advantages for Polish entrepreneurs. In the first phase, by 2030, wind farms with a total capacity of 5.9 GW are to be built in the Baltic Sea. Over the next 10 years, another 5 GW will arrive. Offshore wind energy is to become the most important source of renewable energy in Poland by 2040 and constitute a development impulse for the entire economy. One farm - depending on the size and location of the project - is an investment of 10-25 billion zlotys, and all those planned until 2040 - up to 130 billion zlotys, as estimated in the Energy Policy of Poland. We are talking about tens of billions of zlotys, which can be contracted by Polish companies.

Our goal is to maximize the involvement of local suppliers and contractors. ​We want to cooperate not only with large nationwide companies, but also with small local businesses. In the OWF Bałtyk II and Bałtyk III projects, we estimate the share of local content at the construction stage at 10% - 20%, and at the service and service stage even at 60% - 80%. This large investment project is an opportunity for Polish companies to join supply chains also on the global market, e.g. Equinor runs projects in Europe, North America, Asia, for which it will also need proven subcontractors.

Since the beginning of the development of our projects, we have benefited from the offerings of the Polish supply chain market. At the initial stage of the development of the OWF Baltic III, i.e. in the years 2014-2021, the involvement of Polish companies amounted to 75%. This number will fluctuate throughout the different phases of the project based on project needs and what part of the project the Polish supply chain will manage to deliver equipment and services to.

How do you intend to increase the participation of local suppliers?

We have developed five open umbrella programs, called Flagship Programs. Under them, we will work with different partners to develop local potential and the competitiveness of local suppliers and sub-suppliers. Our Flagship Programs have been designed to develop the Polish supply chain throughout the entire duration of OWF projects and to involve as many Polish stakeholders as possible in their implementation. These programs will also have a significant impact on shaping local supply chains in localities neighboring our projects.

What is a Supply Chain Plan and where can I find it?

Pursuant to Article 4 and Article 15 of the Act of 17 December 2020 on the promotion of electricity generation in offshore wind farms (Journal of Laws of 2021, item 234), producers applying for the right to cover the negative balance were obliged to draw up a supply chain plan for materials and services, consistent with the state of development of the offshore wind farm project together with the connection infrastructure for offshore wind farm projects in the Baltic Sea. Plans by the end of March 2021 had to be submitted to the Energy Regulatory Office.

So far, the President of the Urząd Regulacji Energetyki (URE) has issued five decisions on granting the right to cover the negative balance for electricity produced in offshore wind farms and for these projects supply chain plans are already available.

The supply chain plan describes the approach of investors to the preparation of supplies of components of the planned investment and services necessary for its implementation and operation. The main objective of the plans is to create a supply chain ensuring timely and safe implementation of projects at prices that guarantee a positive financial result of the investment, while avoiding excessive, unjustified costs for energy consumers.

The URE's website publishes plans for the supply chain of materials and services presented by manufacturers.

For community

What benefits will coastal towns have from these investments?

Offshore wind energy is an opportunity to create new opportunities for coastal municipalities and jobs for their residents. Local companies are already involved in our supply chain for some services (for example: MEWO S.A., Emprom, Squadron, Projmors, Janicki and many more, involved in the services related to execution of comprehensive environmental studies, development of EIA Reports, communication services, engineering of onshore cables and landfall). Our our service and maintenance base will be located in Łeba. The revitalized site of the former shipyard na Łeba, with the support of local contractors and suppliers, will house modern, environmentally friendly office space, a center for control and operation of wind farms, a warehouse for spare parts, and a wharf for mooring vessels. The investment in Leba will create a development opportunity for the region, as well as new jobs. These will include technical positions for maintenance of infrastructure, as well as teams of office workers to support the operation of projects from land. About 100 people will find long-term employment at the base.  The investment will also create earning opportunities for local businesses such as hotels and restaurants that will provide accommodation and food for workers during construction. Investments in OWF will also contribute to the development of local road and port infrastructure.

How do you intend to support the local community?

We intend to get heavily involved in local initiatives and investment projects, such as the planned reconstruction, modernization and expansion of the railroad line running to the port of Leba. Similarly, we intend to get involved in the municipalities of Ustka and Słupsk, through which the export cable will run. We are bringing our best practices from Poland onshore to offshore investments. Polenergia already has two wind farms in Pomerania. In the municipalities where they are located, we have long supported local communities and engaged in local projects. The wind farms mean our presence in the municipalities for at least 25 years. We want and will be a good neighbor.

How will project development affect the tourism industry?

The tourism industry is likely to benefit from the presence of new employees, who will purchase various goods and services locally, including off-season accommodation. The investment will attract new temporary residents to Leba and the surrounding area or retain existing ones, which will contribute to the development of the city and municipality . Moreover, we will be involved in various local events to increase the city's tourist attractiveness.

What impact will your projects have on fisheries?

The analysis of the investment's impact on the environment shows that the project area is of limited importance for Polish fisheries. In the area of the planned wind farms, the fishery productivity, i.e. the amount of catch per area, is much lower compared to the average fishery productivity in other areas of the Polish sea. Fishing activity is possible near the wind farms. In the Baltic Sea, about 100-meter safety zones are to be created around the farms, and passage between them will be made possible by 1.5-3 kilometer corridors. For the safety of fishermen and the proper operation of wind farms, only a ban on bottom-disturbing fishing gear, which could hit transmission cables buried under the bottom, may be established in their vicinity.

How are you going to cooperate with the fishing community?

Above all, we want to have an open dialogue and consultation with the fishing community. Concerns often arise from incomplete knowledge, so constant contact with fishermen and other users of the sea is of great importance to us. For this reason, we hold regular meetings with the local community. And we also encourage the use of our complaints and feedback mechanism to gather feedback. We have already started cooperation with the Maritime Fisheries Institute in Gdynia and the Fisheries Monitoring Centre in Gdynia. As part of our transparent activities, we intend to share the results of the impact assessment of wind farms and present in a clear form all impacts and the obligation to compensate for them in accordance with international standards.


Are offshore wind farms safe for birds?

Studies show that avoiding wind farms is not a major difficulty for birds. There are many ways and technologies to reduce the risk of bird collisions, including but not limited to digital monitoring and detection systems. In the case of our farms, a 4-kilometer-wide migration corridor will be established between groups of wind turbines, which will allow, for example, the long-necked duck (a species of medium to large water bird in the duck family) to migrate freely within the Slupsk Bank. We are conducting a rigorous environmental impact assessment to evaluate the potential impact of our farms so that we can more effectively implement measures to reduce their impact on fauna and flora.

What impact will offshore wind farms have on the Baltic Sea ecosystem?

Experience from offshore projects in other countries shows that offshore wind farms can have a positive impact on underwater ecosystems. With new underwater structures, nature gains new opportunities for development, which can even help increase fish populations. As evidenced by independent research in the North Sea, where underwater structures have been present for more than 50 years, the foundations of offshore renewable energy installations can attract marine animals and create an artificial reef effect around which an ecosystem develops that can act as a nursery for young fish and provide a food base for fish. (INSITE North Sea Program and related publications; Conservation Evidence project and related publications), In turn, for example, underwater noise generated during the construction of wind farms will be reduced by using noise-reducing technologies (e.g., bubble curtains, double bubble curtains) so as not to disturb marine mammals and fish.

What measures are you taking to protect nature?

The cables, which will carry electricity from farms owned by Equinor and Polenergia, will be routed using a trenchless method through a special underpass - on the border between sea and land. This will allow the protection of unique, interconnected aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The chosen method of conducting the work will not disturb the area of the beach and dunes, which will allow the protection of plant communities and the habitat of many valuable species of flora and fauna, including rare Western European, Atlantic and Northern species.

You are going to build farms on the Baltic Sea at the height of the Slovenian National Park. Won't this harm the people and animals of the area? 

Our offshore wind farms in the Baltic, along with the connection infrastructure, are implemented in accordance with the best international environmental practices. This allows us to supply wind energy to Poland while protecting ecologically sensitive ecosystems.  In preparing offshore wind farm projects, we conducted comprehensive environmental surveys of migratory and seabirds, as well as fish, marine mammals and organisms living on the seabed for more than a year. The aim of the survey was a comprehensive environmental analysis to minimize the impact of the investment on the environment and to apply solutions that would offset or prevent this impact.

Do electromagnetic fields from cables have any effect on animals and humans?

Surveys that have been conducted for many years have not shown the effects of electromagnetic fields generated by power lines and substations on the health and lives of local residents. Despite a large number of high-quality surveys on the risk of morbidity due to increased exposure to electromagnetic fields, no increase in this risk has been proven.

The SwePol Link submarine high-voltage line and its 12-kilometer onshore section to the Wierzbiacin substation, has been in existence for more than 20 years. During this period, no negative effects of the transmission cables have been observed.

In Poland, the applicable permissible values of electromagnetic fields in the environment are stricter than in most EU member states. Permissible levels of elec- tromagnetic field in the environment have been established in accordance with Recommendation 1999/519/EC, and 9 countries, including Poland, have adopted their own stricter regulations for environmental protection against the effects of electromagnetic fields.

Medium-voltage cable networks generatę an electromagnetic field, the level of which is so low thaṫ it does not threaten the environment in any way. For typical 30kV medium-voltage lines, the level of electric field strength reaches up to 0.6kV/m. Typical magnetic field strength, on the other hand, does not exceed 5A/m. Only high-voltage lines above 110kV arę capable of generating electromagnetic fields with levels that can violaté electromagnetic climate quality standards. Thanks to the trenchless method, our power transmission lines will run about 3 meters underground, which will reduce the impact of electromagnetic fields to very low values.

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