Vattenfall seeks Swedish input for <18 MW turbines

by Bridget Randall-Smith in Turbines Windfarms 17/03/2020 Vattenfall

Vattenfall is progressing with applications for super sized turbines at the Stora Middelgrund offshore wind farm in the Kattegat Sea, Sweden and will launch a consultation this spring.

The
Stora Middelgrund project secured necessary construction permits over 10 years ago in 2009 but has been delayed because it was not considered economically viable. After 10 years in limbo, Vattenfall acquired the project from Universal Wind in the spring 2019 and are hoping to update the consents to bring the project into realisation.

The wind farm is located in the EEZ about 30km west of Halmstad with water depths of 11-33m and average wind speeds of  9.0–9.5 m/s. The project has an agreement for connection to existing switchgear at Breared in Halmstad municipality.


Licensed under the Swedish Economic Zone Act, the project has consent for up to 108 wind turbines, of 8 MW capacity, with a total height of 200 m. But Vattenfall hope to alter the permits to include options for larger turbines of up to 18 MW and heights of up to 290 m. According to Vattenfall, if turbines larger than the original 8 MW design can be used, the number of turbines can be reduced, which also reduces the environmental impact.
Two sample turbine layouts include 71x12 MW turbines or 47x18 MW turbines.

Since the original environmental permit was awarded it was decided that a Natura 2000 area could be affected by the wind farm. According to Vattenfall, an application for a Natura 2000 permit is ongoing with additional environmental impact studies being conducted, for example, porpoises and protected habitat types such as sandbanks and reefs. The results will be presented in the environmental impact assessment (EIA) that is currently being prepared.


Existing permits state that construction and civil engineering measures must conclude in 2020, but Vattenfall is also seeking an extension to this deadline and have previously stated that construction will not start until after 2025.

Vattenfall is now initiating the consultation process and is gathering views from the County Administrative Board in Halland, municipalities, authorities, associations and organizations on the revisions made to the wind farm. Consultation meetings with the public will be held in Halmstad, Falkenberg and Ängelholm in early May 2020.

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