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Sweden awards environmental permit to 5.5 GW offshore wind project

The County Administrative Board of Gotland (Sweden) has granted a Natura 2000 permit to the 5.5 GW Aurora offshore wind project, proposed by the Swedish renewable project developer OX2 in partnership with Ingka Investments (a subsidiary of Ingka Group).

Natura 2000 sites are designated specifically to protect core areas for a sub-set of species or habitat types listed in the Habitats and Birds Directives, and this permit is one of several that need move forward proposed projects in those areas. The project would consist of up to 370 turbines with a maximum height of 370 m, located outside the islands of Gotland and Öland (south-eastern Sweden). If approved, construction could start as early as 2028 and the project could start delivering electricity by by 2030. The project is estimated to produce up to 24 TWh/year if the entire area is constructed, contributing to reduce about 14 MtCO2 and to provide energy to about 5 million Swedish households. 

At the end of 2022, Sweden had 193 MW of installed offshore wind capacity (no offshore capacity addition in 2023) and over 14 GW of onshore wind (over 16 GW in 2023, according to preliminary estimates). The country aims to reach an entirely "fossil-free" electricity system by 2040 (the initial mention (2016) of a "100% renewable electricity system" was replaced by "fossil-free" to include nuclear in 2023).

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