The first information center on offshore wind farms in Poland has been launched in Łeba. Equinor and Polenergia are behind the initiative.
The facility located in the center of Łeba is a place where you can get comprehensive information about investments that Equinor and Polenergia carry out jointly. In the Polish part of the Baltic Sea, the companies are developing three offshore wind farm projects. With a total capacity of around 3 GW, Baltic I, Baltic II and Baltic III will supply more than 4 million households with renewable energy.
– Investments in offshore wind farms Baltic Sea are an important contribution to the green energy transformation of the Polish and another manifestation of good Polish-Norwegian cooperation lasting for decades – said Anders H. Eide, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway in Poland, who visited the facility in Łeba a few days earlier.
The first energy from the most advanced offshore wind farms Bałtyk II and Bałtyk III, with a total capacity of 1.44 GW, will supply the Polish energy system already in 2027. The Baltic I project, with a capacity of 1.56 GW, implemented in the next stage, is to be ready for the auction planned for 2025. The farms will be located at the height of Łeba at a distance of 22 to over 80 km from the coastline.
– Investments in offshore wind energy are a real energy revolution. For the first time, electricity production in Pomerania will be greater than its consumption. These renewable, clean energy sources will open a new chapter in the history of the Polish energy sector, providing us not only with energy security but also with development opportunities for small ports, such as in Łeba. What is important, the entire investment process, from the moment it is initiated, is thoroughly consulted with local communities and professional groups – emphasizes the Senator of the Republic of Poland Kazimierz Kleina, a resident of Łeba on a daily basis.
The opening of the facility was attended not only by parliamentarians but also by representatives of provincial and local government authorities as well as activists of local social organizations, with whom Equinor and Polenergia have been conducting a partnership dialogue since the beginning of their investments.
– We want to be a good neighbor, listen to the voices of the local community, and remain in direct and constant contact with the inhabitants of the area. The opening of the Local Information Point is a symbolic seal of our active presence in Łeba, where we are building an operational and service base, serving as a logistics center for almost three decades of conducting operations at sea for Baltic projects. Cooperation with the inhabitants of Pomerania, local governments, and institutions allows us to get to know their needs and meet these expectations – says Bjørn Ivar Bergemo, Project Director Baltic II and III, representing Equinor.
Łeba will also house an operational and service base for the Bałtyk II and Bałtyk III offshore wind farms. On the revitalized site of the former shipyard, Equinor will build modern, environmentally friendly office space, a wind farm control and service center, a spare parts warehouse, and a quay for mooring vessels. The construction of the base will begin at the turn of 2023 and 2024, and the facility is planned to be commissioned at the end of 2025. About 100 specialists will find long-term employment in the service base, necessary for the technical maintenance of infrastructure and devices at sea, as well as supporting their maintenance from land. In addition to new jobs, the investment will create an opportunity for development for the region and income opportunities for local entrepreneurs. During the construction and subsequent operation of the facility, the investor intends to make maximum use of locally available raw materials and services of local entrepreneurs.
– The development of offshore wind energy gives great development opportunities for the municipality and its residents. The service port, the benefits of income, taxes, leases, and new jobs, all will affect the standard of living of residents. Not only will it keep them in a municipality that has been depopulating for years, but it will even attract new ones. Łeba is a tourist municipality that dies out of season. New investments will certainly change this – says Andrzej Strzechmiński, mayor of Łeba.
New jobs will be created not only in the construction and operation of offshore wind farms, but also through suppliers of components and services.
– In the supply chain we create, there is a place for both entrepreneurs from Pomerania and those from the interior of the country. Offshore wind farms are long-term investments that mean our presence in coastal municipalities for at least 30 years. That is why we are open to cooperation not only with large nationwide companies but also with small local businesses. We want our investments to bring real benefits to people and the environment – says Marta Porzuczek, Stakeholder Management Manager in Bałtyk Projects, representing Polenergia Group.
In the Centre in Łeba, opened at the beginning of the summer season, throughout the year you will be able to obtain information about the Bałtyk offshore wind farms, the operational and service base in Łeba, career prospects, and jobs. It is also a place of education for children and youth, where classes and knowledge competitions with prizes will be organized for them. For the youngest, there is a corner for educational games.
In the Information Centre, you can see a mock-up of an offshore wind farm, and on a large monitor and iPad - a presentation about the projects. An on-site consultant will answer any questions you may have. The information prepared in an accessible and attractive form is to familiarize interested parties with the environmental, economic, and local benefits of offshore wind energy. The information desk will also have a form for submitting comments and complaints, which can be completed anonymously. At the same time, the facility will support and promote local initiatives.
The information center will be open five days a week from Wednesday to Sunday from 14:00 to 18:00. The facility is located near the Municipal Office at 88 Kościuszki Street in Łeba.