OX2 and Ingka Investments have announced that Aurora, their 5.5GW offshore wind farm, has been granted a Natura 2000 permit by the County Administrative Board of Gotland in Sweden.

The permit is a critical milestone for the wind farm, which will be situated offshore Gotland and Öland in the Baltic Sea.

The proposed location is 22km south of Gotland and 30km east of Öland.

The wind farm has the potential to generate 24TWh of clean electricity annually.

The Baltic Sea region is strategically important for the Swedish Armed Forces. The integration of sensors on the wind turbines could provide additional benefits by aiding in surveillance and control in the area.

OX2 Sweden offshore wind development head Emelie Zakrisson stated: “Aurora is a wind farm that can really make a real difference and act as a motor in the net-zero transition in the southern parts of Sweden. Export cables from the farm are planned to go to the mainland but also directly to Gotland.

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“The large-scale production from Aurora would facilitate for more local electricity production to be developed as well as hydrogen production to help decarbonise industry and heavy transports.”

The Natura 2000 permit is an affirmation from the County Administrative Board that the project can proceed without negatively impacting protected species.

However, this is just one of several approvals required.

The next phase involves the County Administrative Board recommending to the Swedish Government that construction be allowed under the Act concerning Sweden’s exclusive economic zone.

If the government accepts this, construction will commence by 2028 with the wind farm operational before 2030.

In January 2024, OX2 and Ingka Investments applied for the Neptunus offshore energy hub offshore Blekinge, Sweden.

This 3.1GW project is anticipated to consist of 207 wind turbines, each up to 420m tall and situated 50km from the coast. It could generate between 13 and 15TWh of electricity per year.