Norwegian government has approved 160 MW wind farm

The ministry approved the wind energy plans of the company Andmyran Vindpark AS, newspaper Andøyposten reports.

The wind farm will have 160 MW and produce up to 450 GWh per year. The wind farm, in the Andoy region, is dependent on funding from Enova. The first 80MW phase is expected to cost €100million.

Wind power is ideal in combination is with Norwegian hydro power. Together, wind energy and hydro can secure stable production and provide a robust and balanced power system.

Norway has excellent wind resources. On the exposed strip of the Norwegian coastline, annual mean wind speed 50 m above ground can be as high as 7-9 m/s. At sites of local acceleration (hills, crests etc) wind speeds above 9 m/s are common. Common capacity factors are around 34 per cent, generating 3000 MWh/year with the same installed capacity. At optimal sites in onshore Norway as well as offshore sites, a capacity factor of 46 per cent MWh/year is possible.

In continental Europe, capacity factors of about 23 per cent are common, thus 1 MW of wind power will generate 2000 MWh/year of electric power.

At the end of 2009, a total of 431 MW wind power was installed in Norway. Norway has an excellent wind power potential. Typical sites at the coast have annual mean winds in the range of 8 to 10 m/s. This is considerable better than the typical wind conditions in Denmark or northern Germany. Wind farms located at the long Norwegian coastline are expected to operate very efficient.

The location of the wind turbines in less dense populated areas in Norway has both advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, the operation of the wind farms is not disturbing for people. On the other hand, some impact on the fragile arctic nature cannot be excluded and has to be estimated carefully. 

Norway has further an interesting potential for Offshore wind energy. Wind turbines might be located in shallow waters with very different soil conditions or floating in deep-water environment.

The long-term potential for wind energy in Norway is very high; some tens of TWh might be installed. At present, wind power gives by far the cheapest electricity of the new, renewable energy sources.

The total theoretical potential for offshore wind power in Norway corresponds to approximately 200 times the total Norwegian hydro power production. The theoretical sales value of this energy source corresponds to NOK 6000 billion per year "forever" (i.e. approximately 10 times the value of the Norwegian oil & gas production). The red area represents as little as 0.5 % of the area of Norway’s economic zone corresponds to all of the current Norwegian power consumption.