EnergyWatch

Norway may get Europe's largest wind farm

Norwegian wind project, Hordawind, may get turbines of up to 250 meters if the plan is approved, possibly making it the largest wind farm on the European continent.

Photo: Zephyr

A Norwegian 235 turbine wind project featuring machines with tip heights up to 250 might be underway.

However, this is provided that the construction plans for Norwegian wind farm Hordawind, in the region of Nordhordland in the south-western part of Norway, north of Bergen, are approved by the authorities.

If they are approved, Norway will get its largest onshore wind farm, writes Norwegian local newspaper Bergens Tidende.

According to plans, the turbines will be distributed over 65.3 square kilometers in mountain areas near Modalen, Masfjorden and Lindås. The facility would require new roads of over 180 kilometers.

The wind farm is valued at NOK 12-14 billion (EUR 1.2-14 billion).

Harsh criticism

The plan is submitted to the Norwegian energy directorate, NVE, which will review it.

As often seen in past, these plans have been subject to critique and debate in the local community.

According to the plan, the height of the turbines will be between 200-250 meters and will be visible from a 40 to 50-kilometer distance. This is not welcomed by all, as the mountains are used for outdoor recreational activities.

When this news reached the residents in the local community, it led to protests and hearings, writes Bergens Tidende.

Furthermore, local politicians in the impacted local council, Lindås, have declared the area unfit for constructing wind farms. In fact, the Norwegian climate council has advised against construction in the mountains.

Exhibiting the wind farm

In the meantime, the company behind the wind farm project has made deals with the affected land owners and has started to build an office in the area.

Contrary to the protests against Hordavind, project manager Espen Borgier Christophersen thinks the wind farm will attract more tourists.

"The visual disadvantages cannot be accommodated. What's important now is to accentuate all the positive effects of the project, both in terms of recreational activities and new activities," he says.

He thinks the new roads will make it easier to get around in the area and make the cabins more attractive.

Moreover, the project manager notes that the wind farm will create between 40 to 50 permanent jobs and add an annual NOK 70-80 million to the local municipalities.

Christophersen adds that the wind farm could be installed subsidy-free and will fetch a price of less than NOK 0.30 per kilowatt hour.

Norsk Vind Energi is developer of the project. The company is in dialog with various actors regarding the ownership of what may become the biggest wind farm in Europe.

English Edit: Lisa Castey Hall Nielsen

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