Norwegian oil firm Equinor and utility Polenergia have submitted an application to the Polish energy regulator ERO to receive support under a contracts for difference (CfD) scheme for 1.4GW in joint offshore wind developments in the Polish part of the Baltic Sea.

The capacity is from the Baltyk 2&3 projects off the Polish coast. They are part of a first batch of 5.9GW in pre-developed areas in Polish waters that after the recent approval by the parliament in Warsaw of an offshore wind act will be entitled to CfD support.

While the pre-developed areas will not have to participate in a tender against other companies, the ERO still needs to give its formal approval of public support to developers who meet certain criteria for those projects by the end of June 2021.

The companies will also have to negotiate how much of a (yet-to-be-announced) maximum price for energy produced they will receive, and must apply for an individual notification to the European Commission (EC). The EC which will verify the profitability of the project and ensure that there won’t be a surplus of public aid, according to the Polish Wind Energy Association (PWEA).

Despite not having a single turbine in the water yet, Poland has one of the most ambitious offshore wind plans in the Baltic Sea, expecting to have 5.9GW of wind at sea operational by 2030, and almost 11GW by 2040.

After support has been granted to up to 5.9GW in the first wave of pre-developed projects, the country plans to hold competitive auctions for another 5GW of future offshore capacity.

The Equinor-Polenergia consortium in addition to Baltyk 2& 3 is also developing the 1.56GW Baltyk 1 project that is located further away from shore and is a likely candidate for the regular offshore wind tenders of the second wave of projects.

“Ideally, we would like this project to come in sequence, more or less immediately after we have been through with Baltyk 2& 3,” Michał Jerzy Kołodziejczyk, the head of the Norwegian oil & gas firm’s office in the Eastern European country told Recharge last year.