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Norway Firm Plans World's Biggest Wind Park

Date: 21-Feb-06
Country: NORWAY

The world's biggest wind power parks are now off Denmark, the leading wind energy nation, which has two parks with capacity of around 160 MW each. Big wind projects are also on the drawing board elsewhere, such as off Britain.

"So far as we know this is the biggest," said Harald Dirdal, managing director of Havgul AS, the company behind the plan.

Privately owned Havgul estimated total investments to carry out the development at 16 billion Norwegian crowns ($2.37 billion), and said it expected big industrial groups to take over the project from the construction phase.

In the basic plan, the parks would have a total of 334 turbines of 4.5 MW each, but the number of turbines could vary from 188 to 500 if a bigger or smaller turbine is chosen, Havgul said in background material.

Executives said the choice of turbine was undecided, but the company has earlier said the basic plan is based on Danish turbine maker Vestas' 4.5 MW turbine.

Havgul executives said that the three wind parks, called Havsul I, II and IV, would generate a total of 4.2 terawatt hours of electricity annually, which would fill an expected shortfall of power in Norway's Moere og Romsdal region.

"We think the project has a very good chance of being realised," Havgul chairman Emil Thorkildsen told Reuters.

He said Norwegian authorities were likely to decide on the concession application next year. "Based on that, we think it is realistic to go for a construction start in 2009 or 2010," Thorkildsen said.

"It could be in operation in 2010 or 2011."

Under the basic plan, the biggest of the three parks, Havsul II, would have 178 turbines and the other two would have 78 each, Havgul said.

"Havgul is a development company for the planning and application phases," Thorkildsen told a news conference. "Idustrial operators would take over in the building phase."

He said that so far talks with industrial groups, which would likely include major energy companies, had only been held on a general level.

To be profitable the project depends on the creation of a planned Norwegian-Swedish green certificate market, Dirdal said.

Green certificates are marketable certificates issued to producers of power from renewable energy sources. They bring extra income to power producers and are meant to be an incentive to invest in renewable power generation.

Regional power company Tafjord Kraft AS has joined as a partner in the biggest of the three parks.

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Reuters
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