December 26 (Renewables Now) - Norway’s energy ministry said Friday it would not be halting construction of Fosen Vind’s 288-MW Storheia wind farm, despite concerns about the turbines’ impact on reindeer herding in the area.
In a letter dated December 10, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights asked the Norwegian government to stop the construction of the wind park as it had received a complaint by Sami reindeer herders, who feared the wind park would have a negative impact on winter pastures. The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, however, said there is no basis for halting work on the project, which has passed through all legal inspections.
The UN call came under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
Storheia is one of six wind farms being built by Fosen Vind, a company in which Norwegian state-owned utility Statkraft AS has a 52.1% stake. Its partners in the projects are TroenderEnergi, with 7.9%, and Nordic Wind Power DA, with 40%. Significant progress has already been made at Storheia in preparation for the start of wind turbine installation, Fosen has informed the ministry. The 3.6-MW Vestas turbines will be erected between April and August 2019. Fosen has agreed to take measures to address the concerns of reindeer herders during construction.
Completion of the Storheia wind farm is planned for the fourth quarter of 2019. It will be the third of the portfolio to reach operation, after the 256-MW Roan wind farm, up and running since the summer of 2018, and the 94-MW Hitra II park, which will be ready in the third quarter of 2019. The other three parks -- Geitfjellet (155 MW), Harbaksfjellet (108 MW) and Kvenndalsfjellet (101 MW) -- will be completed in the third quarter of 2020, according to a recent update by Statkraft.