Several companies have announced interest in building large wind farms far out to sea in the Gulf of Bothnia, both in the Swedish and in the Finnish economic zone, from Skellefteå northwards.
Njord Offshore Winds' park is the most southerly of them and closest to Skellefteå. The shortest distance to the mainland is to Luleå; approximately 55 kilometers. The area lies within Sweden's economic zone and thus it is the state that has planning responsibility for the area through marine planning and marine environmental management.
The project area is a total of over 400 square kilometers.
The planned activity is assumed to cause significant environmental impact and therefore a so-called delimitation consultation must be held. Skellefteå municipality has now submitted its opinion and has a number of questions about the establishment.
One is about the cumulative, combined, effects of several wind farms in the area, but not only of them but also of other possible activities there such as shipping and the investigation of manganese nodules outside Bjuröklubb.
Other areas where Skellefteå municipality has questions are the proximity to the military Tåme firing range and what consequences it may have, as well as what impact it may have on boat traffic in the waterways nearby.
Furthermore, the municipality questions whether it is necessary for the wind turbines to be placed two kilometers apart, which means that the overall area will be very large.
One issue that the municipality is particularly keen to clarify is that Njord Offshore Wind has not submitted any visibility analyses; that is, what the average person might see of the wind farm.
"We would like to see how the park will be experienced from a distance from, for example, Pite-Rönnskär, Kåge harbor, Bredskär/Gåsören, with several locations," says the municipality.
If the company chooses not to conduct visibility analyses from locations in Skellefteå municipality, a reasoning as to why must be described in the upcoming environmental impact statement, which will now follow, the municipality believes.
Furthermore, the municipality of Skellefteå asks questions about a possible establishment under headings such as: disturbance, risk and accident, microplastics, wildlife, dismantling, as well as control, maintenance and repair.