Norway to build eight wind farms with 1,300 MW capacity for $3.3 bil
London (Platts)--26Aug2013/1141 am EDT/1541 GMT
Norway's energy ministry on Monday announced the Oil and Energy Minister Ola Borten Moe had given permission for the construction of eight separate wind power projects across central Norway with an installed capacity of 1,300 MW and costing NOK20 billion ($3.3 billion).
The country's electricity production is dominated by hydropower plants which are supplemented at peak demand periods in winter by imports of power produced by nuclear power plants by neighbor Sweden, but the Scandinavian country is also making an aggressive push into windpower.
The ministry said that the eight power stations would have a combined 450 turbines. By comparison, the country's biggest existing windpower plant located at the south east coast island of Smola, which started production in 2002, has an installed capacity of 150 MW and has 68 turbines.
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It said the wind farms could provide about 3.7 TWh of renewable electricity generation, corresponding to the annual consumption of about 185,000 households, or three times the annual consumption in the central city of Trollheim.
"Overall, the eight wind power plants will be the world's largest wind power project. The total investment of around NOK20 billion is one of the largest investments ever in mainland Norway," the ministry said.
Norway's windpower production still remains fairly minute. Norwegian state-owned utility Statkraft, reporting second quarter results, said that windpower accounted for 0.3 TWh of power, up from 0.2 TWh for Q2 last year compared with Q2 hydropower production of 10.6 TWh, which was down from 14.5T Wh for the same period a year ago.
But Statkraft also said it was allocating more resources both domestically and abroad and that during Q2 the UK 52.5MW Baillie (52.5 MW) onshore wind farm came on stream as did the 60 MW Stamasen plant in Sweden. It said that another five onshore wind farms were under construction, four in Sweden and one in the UK. The total installed capacity of these wind farms is 524 MW.
The ministry statement on Monday said that the new plants, connected by 25 miles of a new kV power cable, would be situated from the Norwegian towns of Overhall via Forsen to Trollheim.
The ministry said concessions to build and operate the new wind power plants were given to the power companies SAE Vind, Sarepta Energi AS and Zephyr AS.
A separate concession was given to the national grid operator Statnett to build the 420 kV power line linking the stations to the national grid.
--Patrick McLoughlin, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Katharine Fraser, email@example.com