The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has put an end to plans for a 350mW windfarm off Western Norway’s Møre coast, reversing a decision previously made by the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) to allow Havsul I AS an extension until 2025.
The NVE decision was appealed by a number or interest groups and fishing industry bodies Fiskebåt and Fiskarlaget had worked to ensure that no further extension would be granted. According to Fiskebåt, this is a significant victory for the fishing industry.
At the same time, the Ministry has upheld NVE’s decision not to grant a postponed deadline for commissioning the Kvinesheia and Remmafjellet wind turbine projects.
The decisions are in line with Parliament’s decision not to give an extended deadline for commissioning of wind power plants beyond 31st December 2021, and the 2016 energy report, in which a tightening was announced to the practice of extending licenses after the deadline for entering the electricity certificate market.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy carried out an in-depth assessment of whether a grace period should be granted for the Havsul I wind project, and concluded that both the original license and the impact assessment are old and need updating, and that the licensee probably needs further deadlines and license changes beyond what was applied for before the project could possibly be realised.
In 2012, NVE granted Statkraft Agder Energi DA a license to build and operate the Remmafjellet and Kvinesheia wind turbine projects, and the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy upheld decisions in 2013 and 2015. Statkraft subsequently applied for an extended deadline for commissioning for both wind. NVE rejected both applications in the summer of 2020.
In upholding NVE’s rejection of the application for a postponed deadline for Remmafjellet and Kvinesheia wind turbines, the Ministry emphasised that the licensee in these instances has had sufficient time to meet the deadlines they have had since receiving the license, while several aspects of the projects are still unresolved, such as license changes, detailed plans and plan clarifications.
Image: Odd Kristian Dahle/Fiskebåt