Danish company Vestas will build a factory to assemble parts for wind turbines near the city of Szczecin on Poland’s northern Baltic Sea coast. The plant will supply both the world market and Poland itself, which is preparing to commission its first offshore wind farms.
“Offshore wind energy has great prospects in Poland and Vestas is proud to help the country maximize its opportunities,” said the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Rahbek Nielsen.
The project launch comes after the Danish company was named as the preferred supplier for the Baltic Power project, a joint initiative by Polish state-owned energy giant Orlen and Canadian company Northland Power to build a wind farm in the Baltic Sea. Vestas will deliver 76 turbines, each with a capacity of 15 MW.
#Vestas to set up a new assembly plant in Szczecin, Poland, near the Baltic Sea. The plant will assemble nacelles and hubs for the V236-15.0 MW™ and create between 600 and 700 direct jobs.
Learn more: https://t.co/bfaZAKI2VI#BalticPower #REPowerEU #MakeTheSolution pic.twitter.com/CNeckrL9tm
— Vestas Wind Systems (@Vestas) October 13, 2022
In total, the plant near Szczecin will produce around 400 turbines per year, Nils de Baar, Vestas President for Northern and Central Europe, told the Polish Press Agency (PAP).
When operational by 2024, it will directly employ around 700 people and, according to the company, also create “thousands of indirect jobs in the Szczecin area.”
PKN Orlen and the seaports of Szczecin and Świnoujście signed an agreement earlier this month as part of plans for an offshore wind farm installation terminal related to the Baltic Power project.
In February, officials announced that two new Spanish-owned factories making towers for offshore wind turbines would open in Poland.
Opening of two factories for wind towers in Poland
Although Poland remains the EU’s most coal-dependent country, generating around 70% of its electricity from fossil fuels, renewables make up a growing share of its energy mix — 17% last year versus 7% a decade ago.
The largest source of green energy has been wind, but so far only on land. Earlier this year, Poland generated a record amount of energy from wind, with turbines at times providing around a third of the country’s electricity needs.
As well as trying to develop its first offshore wind farms, the Polish government is trying to repeal regulations it introduced in 2016 that have significantly reduced new investment in onshore wind power.
Renewable energies covered a record 67% of Poland’s electricity needs on Sunday
The Polish government and state and private companies are also pushing ahead with plans to build the country’s first nuclear power plants.
US President Joe Biden’s climate ambassador John Kerry earlier this year praised Poland for “leading the EU in its efforts to diversify energy sources”, including moves towards a green energy transition.
However, many environmental groups argue that Poland has progressed too slowly and accuse the government of supporting the politically important coal industry.
As Poland pushes ahead with the construction of its first nuclear power plant, locals are raising concerns
Main image source: Peter Dargatz/ Pixabay (Pixabay License)
Peter Kononczuk is senior editor at Notes from Poland. He was previously a journalist for Agence France-Presse (AFP) in London and Warsaw.