June 5, 2018 / 4:54 PM / 2 months ago

Statkraft may scrap two Swedish wind projects as turbine height limited

OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian utility company Statkraft [STATKF.UL] may cancel plans to build one onshore wind farm in Sweden and scrap plans to upgrade another after a local court rejected its request to build taller turbines, the firm said on Tuesday.

In May, Sweden’s Land and Environmental Court of Appeal denied Statkraft licenses to extend the height of two of its wind farm projects, which had aimed to add 59 turbines of up to 250 megawatt (MW) combined capacity.

“The two (projects) that had the extended tip height license application turned down, are not likely to be put forward unless this changes,” Statkraft’s spokesman Torbjorn Steen said.

Statkraft would not upgrade its 99 MW capacity wind farm in Ogonfagnaden, and might cancel building another one of up to 200 MW in Bodhogarna, he added.

The Norwegian firm had requested increasing the maximum height to 220 meters from 172.5 meters so it could install larger and more efficient turbines to its previously authorized projects.

Statkraft said the court’s decision could impede developers’ flexibility in choosing the latest wind turbine technology, and was contrary to the existing practice, in a process that can last many years.

“The risk is that this will mean that the wind farm design will need to be decided very early in the application process in order to get municipalities’ approval,” the spokesman said.

“This is a concerning development for the wind industry, because it makes the application process more unpredictable and more cumbersome,” he added.

Sweden is seeking to develop more wind power to reduce production from carbon-emitting sources, but developers have faced obstacles ranging from local community opposition to limitations on airspace.

Last November, Sweden’s airforce designated more airspace as low-flying zones, restricting construction of wind turbines.

Statkraft operates four wind farms in Sweden with a total capacity of more than 500 MW capacity.

Editing by Edmund Blair

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