Renewables developers Eolus and Simply Blue have forged a joint venture (JV) to develop four floating wind projects in the Baltic Sea that would add mutiliple gigawatts of power plant to the offshore region that could be fed onto the Swedish and Finnish grids starting in the 2030s.

The JV’s SeaSapphire complex – made up of 2GW Skidbladner and 2.75GW Herukles arrays off Sweden and two gigascale projects off Finland, one dubbed Wellamo and the other as-yet-unnamed – are expected to generate up to 40TWh a year of electricity once fully-online next decade.

“The SeaSapphire projects will strengthen and diversify our offshore portfolio. Combining Eolus’ experience of developing renewable projects and Simply Blue’s expertise within floating wind will… provide great opportunities to add substantial green electricity production in the Nordics,” said Eolus CEO Per Witalisson.

Simply Blue CEO Sam Roch-Perks stated: “This is a strong partnership… where our ambitions are similar, and our development experiences and competences complement.”

He added Simply Blue’s “blue economy approach” to offshore developments, ranging over a portfolio that inclues floating wind, e-fuels, wave energy and low-impact aquaculture, would “benefit coastal societies and stakeholders in terms of new jobs and engagements in activities that will make it possible to manage the sustainable energy transition in Finland and Sweden and reach the fossil free targets”.

The developers, which will have 50:50 ownership of SeaSapphire, said they would be putting “a strong focus on supply chain development to provide opportunities for local job creation and exploring possibilities of alternative use of produced energy”.

Sweden currently has only 192MW of operating offshore wind capacity due to the country's government so far not having provide dedicated subsidy support for power from sea-based plant, but Stockholm is now aiming to change tack by offering up-to-10GW of free grid links as part of auctions starting in 2029.

Finland wants to have its first large-scale wind farm online by 2026-27.

In August, all the Baltic Sea littoral nations bar Russia signed a declaration for more cooperation in offshore wind, built around the target to reaching 19.6GW of sea-based power plant capacity by 2030.

The global floating wind pipeline has more than doubled to 185GW, according to latest data from industry group RenewableUK, with the increase from 91GW a year ago being accompanied by a surge in projects to 230 from 130.