Major new windpower project in Norway
Hydro wishes to establish Norway's biggest windpower project on Harbaksfjell, not far from Trondheim. The plant will meet the electricity requirements of some 10,000 households. If the authorities award a licence, and establish conditions conducive to the development of renewable energy in Norway, the new windmill park can be ready in 2005.
After three years of trials, Hydro has decided to submit an application to develop Harbaksfjell windmill park on the Fosen peninsula. The results of wind measurements indicate that the area is extremely favourable to the setting up of a windpower plant.
The announcement of Hydro's plans for Harbaksfjell come concurrently with the company's official opening of Havøygavlen windpark in Finnmark on 4 June.
Crucial conditions must be met
Hydro originally informed the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) of its plans to develop a windmill park at Harbaksfjellet in April last year. Following a consultative process, NVE drew up in December a programme relating to the environmental impact assessment , which it is now sending for consideration, together with the licence application, to local and regional authorities plus relevant organizations. If NVE grants a licence, construction work can commence in the autumn. The windmill park will then be completed in the course of the winter and spring 2005.
"Apart from an NVE licence, conditions for the development of renewable energy in Norway will be crucial to the realization of the Harbaksfjell project. The creation of a green certificate scheme will be vital to ensuring the profitability of windpower projects in Norway and the Harbaksfjell development in particular," underscores Helge Stiksrud, Hydro Energy's head of communications and public affairs.
30 wind turbines
The plan is to build the windmill park on a relatively flat plateau between 260 and 360 metres above sea-level, installing more than 30 windmills with a maximum output of rougly 90 MW. Windmill capacity has not yet been determined and will depend on the supplier chosen. Likely capacities are 2-3 MW, with a distance between windmills of some 400 to 500 metres. The environmental impact assessment specifies the area necessary for installing 33 windmills each of 2.75 MW.
The Harbaksfjell project forms part of Hydro's drive to promote renewable energy. Hydro is already part-owner of the windmill park at Havøygavlen in Finnmark., which came onstream last autumn with an annual production of roughly 120 GWh.
"We are drawing upon our considerable experience in planning Harbaksfjell. Being used to demanding weather conditions on our oil platforms, we are putting a lot of emphasis on meeting stringent safety requirements, safeguarding the natural environment, developing good technical solutions and ensuring lasting, profitable operation," says Stiksrud.