wpd receives award for exemplary environmental impact assessment
The Finnish annual EIA award was granted to wpd Finland Oy for the exemplary environmental impact assessment of the Suurhiekka offshore wind park. Until now, the prize has never been granted to a wind power project before. wpd Finland Oy was considered to have done significant progress in the field of environmental assessment.
Finnish association for Impact Assessment (FAIA), granted today the annual ”Good EIA” prize to wpd Finland Oy. FAIA grants the prize in order to encourage and to pay attention to exemplary and meritorious activity related to environmental impact assessments (EIA).
Among the grounds of rewarding, FAIA brings out the following criteria: The assessments of the most significant environmental impacts, as well as the thorough consideration of mitigation measures, were regarded as meritorious. Also the public participation and interaction, i.e. finding out and presenting the local people’s and stakeholders’ opinions, were considered to be profound.
FAIA states that Suurhiekka offshore EIA sets an example on how the wind power projects should be assessed in Finland. “Profound and high quality assessments are an essential part of wpd’s project development. Suurhiekka EIA, as Finland’s first major offshore wind farm, was first of a kind. Our specialist partners have done significant pioneer work for example in assessing the impacts on birds and fish. This award is the result from a combined effort of a large group of experts” says Heli Rissanen, Environmental Director of wpd Finland.
The Suurhiekka offshore project proceeded into permit phase when the Water permit application was filed in October 2009. 80 turbines are planned to be built into the Suurhiekka shoal, located 25 kilometers from the coast of Ii, in Gulf of Bothnia. The turbines are estimated to produce 1500 GWh of electricity per year, which equals the yearly consumption of 300 000 households. Construction is expected to start in 2013.