Success starts with Planning – Developing the Baltic Offshore Grid concept
The Baltic InteGrid Spatial Planning Working Group - led by the Maritime Institute in Gdansk (Poland) - has identified potential infrastructure corridors for a Baltic Offshore Grid (BOG). The working group aims at finding suitable areas for offshore wind development in the Baltic Sea and corridors for offshore grid infrastructure that minimise potential spatial conflicts with other sea uses, such as shipping, fishing, Natura 2000 areas, military or tourism. The necessary GIS data for the task was collected in close cooperation with the Baltic LINes project, another Interreg Baltic Sea Region project focusing on coherent linear infrastructure (shipping routes and energy corridors) in Maritime Spatial Plans (MSP) within the Baltic Sea.
Two MSP seminars in the scope of the Baltic InteGrid were held – one in Gdansk (Poland) and one in Klaipeda (Lithuania). During these seminars the project findings were discussed with MSP experts from the Baltic Sea region. In October 2016 the Baltic InteGrid project partners discussed the current status of the national maritime spatial plans with a group of multi-national stakeholders from the energy sector, the fishery industry and planning authorities in Gdansk. Once more it became clear that the multiple interests in the Baltic Sea will lead to increasing pressure on marine spaces. Therefore, a coordinated region-wide approach to MSP is helpful to use the available space efficiently. In November 2017 Baltic InteGrid held another MSP seminar in Klaipeda. This time the Baltic InteGrid partners discussed the challenges and opportunities of a more coordinated approach to MSP in the Baltic Sea region with the representatives from the Baltic LINes project. Among others, spatial planning criteria for linear infrastructure in the Baltic Sea region were presented and discussed by both projects. The participants discussed the relevance and importance of spatial constraints regarding the energy sector.
The next step is to ensure effective mitigation measures that minimise conflicts between potential grid corridors and other sea uses. In collaboration with the Foundation for Sustainable Energy (FNEZ), the Baltic InteGrid project partner leading the group of activity “Environmental & Society”, spatial constraints were defined and specified (e.g. buffer zones for existing infrastructure). Based on these findings, a first draft of potential Baltic Offshore Grid corridors was discussed among the Baltic InteGrid partners. Finally, the Baltic InteGrid MSP team will develop recommendations with practical guidance for the development of a meshed offshore grid in the Baltic Sea from a planners’ perspective.
First draft of potential corridors for a Baltic Offshore Grid (BOG)