14 April 2009
Sweden looks to build world's largest wind farm
Sweden could soon become the world's biggest land-based wind farm region following a decision by a local government authority to approve the building of the $6.8 billion (€5 billion) Markbygden wind farm.
Located off the northern coast of Sweden, Markbygden will boast over 1,100 turbines covering 500 square kilometers, according to Sugar Land, Tex.-based Industrial Info Resources. Markbygden Vind AB, which is 75% owned by the Swedish power group Svevind and 25% by German turbine manufacturer Enercon (Aurich and Bremen, Germany), will head up the project.
The wind farm should be able to produce up to 12 terawatt-hours of energy every year, which represents more than half of Sweden’s target for onshore wind and 8% of Sweden’s total power needs. Sweden’s overall goal is to derive 50% of its energy from renewables by 2020.
The Norrbotten local authority in northern Sweden has given the ambitious project the thumbs up, but the companies still have to get approval from the Swedish government.
“We hope to get a decision [from the Swedish government] during 2009,” said Svevind Chairman Wolfgang Kropp. “We have already started construction with a pilot project, and we will move ahead this year and next year.”
Kropp said the project will use the Enercon E82 and E126 turbines, the latter standing 135 meters tall to the hub and classed as the world’s tallest turbine. Rated at 6 megawatts, the E126 turbine has a rotor blade diameter of 126 meters. The first prototypes hit other test sites in Europe last year.
The wind farm will be in a sparsely populated land and will comprise turbines “no taller than 200 meters.” The companies said the land has “ideal wind conditions” and three power lines already cross it, which will make transmission of power to the national grid a simple process.
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