Vattenfall explores sustainable food production alongside green energy generation

Vattenfall, a Swedish government-owned multinational power company, has announced that its Kriegers Flak offshore wind farm, located in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Denmark, will – in addition to generating green energy – become a hub for sustainable food production. As part of the WIN@sea project, Vattenfall, in collaboration with Danish universities and companies, aims to demonstrate the harmonious coexistence of fossil-free energy generation and food production while enhancing the marine environment and biodiversity.

“It’s going to an exciting year for us. One of the big milestones will be our initial harvest of seaweed for food production from the offshore wind farm in late spring. We are working to produce both fossil-free energy and sustainable food from the sea in the same place whilst providing data for environmental monitoring at the site. At the same time, we are documenting effects on the marine environment and biodiversity,” said WIN@sea Senior Researcher & Project Leader Annette Bruhn from the Department of Ecoscience, Aarhus University.

Vattenfall’s Kriegers Flak offshore wind farm explores dual role in green energy and food production

Harnessing the potential of offshore wind farms

Innovative approaches are at the forefront of this venture. Seaweed and mussel production will be integrated into the areas between the wind turbines. Moreover, special attention is directed towards the regions surrounding the turbine foundations on the seabed, where artificial stone reefs have been created to protect these foundations. Researchers from WIN@sea will study the impact of these man-made reefs on biodiversity, including the cod population. This multi-faceted approach showcases how offshore wind farms can serve purposes beyond energy production.

“In Vattenfall we are working for fossil freedom, but not at the expense of biodiversity. That’s why we are working to find a way for our energy installations to be used for more than fossil-free energy generation alone. There is untapped potential in the areas between the offshore wind farms, and we are pleased to be learning so much about how we can activate these areas to help promote and preserve biodiversity” said Tim Wilms, Bioscience Expert at Vattenfall.

Exploring new horizons in sustainable food

The WIN@sea project is set to achieve a significant milestone this spring with the first harvest of seaweed from the Kriegers Flak offshore wind farm. The harvested seaweed will undergo rigorous quality analysis before being utilized to create various food products, including seaweed pasta. Plans are also in place to establish mussel-growing lines, further enhancing the farm’s sustainable food production capabilities.

International recognition for Danish collaboration

WIN@sea represents a collaborative effort between Aarhus University, the Danish Technological University, the University of Copenhagen, Kerteminde Seafarm, the Kattegat Centre, and Vattenfall. Internationally, this pioneering project is gaining attention, with 47 researchers from over seven countries convening at Vattenfall’s Klintholm facilities on January 9. This year promises to be an eventful one for WIN@sea, with extensive research activities scheduled at the Kriegers Flak site.

The project’s support from VELUX FONDEN, AAGE V. JENSEN NATURFOND, and the EU’s OLAMUR lighthouse project underscores its significance in advancing renewable energy and sustainable food production.