Wind farm plan

November 16, 1998, 08:00 CET

Preliminary notification for the possible construction of a wind farm in western Norway has been given by Statoil and its partners.

Proposals for a facility on the island of Smøla near Kristiansund have been submitted to the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Administration (NVE) by a joint venture linking the group with Nord-Møre Energi and Norsk Hydro.

A licence application to the NVE could follow next year at the earliest, once the impact of a wind farm has been fully studied and more work is done on the project, reports project manager Petter Reed in Natural Gas Business Development.

He emphasises that no decision has been taken to seek a licence. Today's terms for wind power in Norway mean that the partners do not consider the project economic.

Work on the plans began in late 1997/early 1998, when a mast to measure wind strength was installed on Smøla. These measurements show that conditions in the island's flat landscape are suitable for generating power from this source.

An annual average wind strength of eight metres per second would allow a large modern turbine to generate about six million kilowatt-hours per year - corresponding to the electricity consumption of at least 2,000 detached Norwegian homes.

Three preliminary proposals for wind farms located at various places on the island have been developed so far.

An open meeting is being held on Smøla today for the partners to answer questions from the public about a possible wind farm project.

Norway currently has 18 wind turbines in operation. This compares with approximately 4,000 in Denmark, a world leader in wind power development.

Globally, some 15 terawatt-hours of electricity were generated by wind power in 1997. This compares with Norway's hydropower output of 115 terawatt-hours for the same year.