To oversimplify a little, the areas suitable for offshore wind (OSW) have been defined through a process of elimination. We have assessed the Åland waters and eliminated as many areas involving conflicts of interest as possible. After this, we have determined that a sufficient number of large areas remain for offshore wind to become a key component of the Åland economy.
The areas that have been marked as suitable fulfill the following criteria:
- Depth must be between 10 and 70 meters.
- Wind conditions must be good, with an average wind speed of 8. m/s at 100 m above sea level.
- The areas must exceed 5 square kilometers.
It should be noted here that offshore wind can coexist with other activities. The areas marked as suitable for OSW partially overlap with markings for fishing as well as markings related to nature, culture, and environment. It is up to the operator, such as Ilmatar Offshore, to investigate how questions related to coexistence are resolved.
The process of elimination has NOT deemed the following areas suitable for offshore wind:
- Marine traffic zones, with a buffer zone of 1.5 kilometers
- Culturally valuable sites (islets with Crown nature),with a buffer zone of 3 kilometers.
- FINIBA-areas, with a buffer zone of 500 meters. FINIBA is an abbreviation for Finnish Important Bird Areas.
- IBA-areas, with a buffer zone of 500 meters. IBA is an abbreviation of Important Biodiversity Area.
- Conservation areas, with a buffer zone of 500 meters.
- Historical shipwreck sites, with a buffer zone of 1 kilometer.
- Free-time dwellings, with a buffer zone of 10 kilometers.
The suggested wind turbine sites are negotiable. The exact placement will be determined only after additional investigations have been carried out. These may involve, for example, assessments of seabed quality, flora and fauna, as of yet undiscovered wrecks. The determined areas may also come with restrictions. Likewise, detailed investigations may deem additional areas suitable.