PGE Baltica has launched an innovative research project on the productivity of offshore wind farms


The aim of this research is to estimate the impact of the slowdown of wind flow caused in their surroundings by large offshore wind farms [the so-called blockage effect]. This phenomenon will be simulated with numerical fluid mechanics methods. On this basis it is possible to accurately estimate the future profitability of investments in the Baltica 3 and Baltica 2 farms. The research will take about a year and the first results of the analyses are expected in early 2021.

The key issue in preparing investments in offshore wind farms in the Polish part of the Baltic Sea is to accurately estimate their future productivity, i.e. how much wind energy they will be able to generate in real terms. The profitability of the entire investment depends on the level of farm productivity. The higher the uncertainty, the greater the probability that the energy production levels estimated in the forecast will not come true, and thus, the lower the profitability of the offshore wind farm assumed at the investment decision stage. This is an important risk factor, which also increases the cost of financing and thus, indirectly, the cost of energy production (LCOE).

The basic ways of minimizing the aforementioned risk are, first of all, precise wind measurements at the location of the farm with the so-called floating LiDAR (PGE Baltica started it over ten months ago and is planning to finish it in January 2020) and the use of the latest engineering models available in the market to predict wind flow and aerodynamic interaction of turbines.

A large wind farm should be best compared to a stone in a stream. The accumulation of a large number of tall turbines at sea causes the wind to encounter aerodynamic resistance and "bypass" it, causing a decrease in farm productivity. The latter issue is the focus of the new PGE Baltica research and development project implemented in cooperation with the Institute of Fluid Flow Machinery of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Gdańsk.

We are happy to be the first in Poland to take advantage of the innovations of the global offshore industry. The phenomenon of flow slowdown by large offshore wind farms has been identified only recently, in 2018. Expert companies are still developing tools and methods of estimating it and an exchange of opinions on the best ways of simulating the so-called "blockage effect" takes place at scientific conferences. For us, as a company, it is crucial to be able to precisely estimate this impact on productivity and include it in the financial models before making an investment decision on the construction of the Baltica 2 and 3 offshore wind farm - says Monika Morawiecka, President of the Management Board of PGE Baltica.

The research project that has been started is an implementation of the agreement concluded in March this year between PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna and the Research Center for Energy Conversion and Renewable Sources (KEZO) constituting a part of the Institute of Fluid Flow Machinery of the Polish Academy of Sciences. It assumes cooperation between the PGE and the Institute for the purpose of development of innovative, non-emissive technologies that will support the transformation of the Polish energy sector.

Research and development of technologies in the field of renewable energy is one of the key directions of work carried out at the Institute. In the light of the upcoming new rules of Polish offshore support, the use of the scientific potential of the Institute and the developed research methods create an opportunity for cooperation with PGE Baltica in the area of aerodynamic impacts in the area of offshore wind farms - emphasizes Professor Jan Kiciński, the Director of the IFFM PAS.

PGE Baltica was established in January 2019 as the company responsible for implementation of the Offshore Program in the PGE Capital Group, which coordinates preparations for the construction of three wind farms:

  • the Baltica-1 Wind Power Plant (EWB1);
  • the Baltica-2 Wind Power Plant (EWB2), which in January 2019 received from the PSE a proposal of technical conditions for connection to the National Power Grid for 1,498 MW;
  • the Baltica-3 Wind Power Plant (EWB3) with a connection agreement with PSE for 1,045 MW.

All three companies have location permits (permits for erecting artificial islands) enabling the construction of offshore farms in designated areas of the Baltic Sea. For EWB-3 and 2, the procedure for obtaining a decision on the environmental conditions is conducted jointly. By the end of 2019, PGE Baltica is also planning to select a strategic business partner to carry out the investment project under the "joint venture" formula.

PGE Baltica and its special purpose vehicles are owned by PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna. PGE Baltica plans to build offshore wind farms in the Polish part of the Baltic Sea by 2030. Their total maximum capacity will be 2.5 GW.


More information about the agreement between PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna and KEZO:

back to Press releases