News:

Thursday the 11th of September, the Swedish government granted the extension of the permit for the wind farm at Stora Middelgrund, for another six years.
Wind farming at Middelgrunden in southern Kattegatt


Summary

Establishing an offshore wind farm requires good winds, large enough areas with a limited depth, reasonable distances to an electrical power network and being able to handle the impact on the environment.

The water area around Stora Middelgrund including Röde Bank, approximately 60 km2, meets the requirements set out for establishing an offshore wind farm with a capacity of 800 MW, giving an annual electrical power production of approximately 3 TWh.

The farm will include 110 wind turbines, 150 km of cables within the farm as well as 30 km of cablage for shore connection.

In connection with the planning of the farm at Stora Middelgrund, experiences from similar establishments in Denmark will be drawn upon.

The assessment of predicted environmental impact will include:

- Seabed flora and fauna - Fish resources - Reef impact - Marine mammals
- Bats - Birds - Commercial fishing - Recreational fishing
- Marine archeology - Waterborne and airborne traffic - Natural resources - Visual impact

Furthermore, the impact of the shore connection on coastal areas of interest will be included.

Supplying electrical power to the Swedish backbone network is scheduled for the fall of 2009. Starting mid-2011, 100% of the planned capacity should be produced.

Background and aim - why?

Phasing out nuclear power is one of the main goals in Sweden. Increasing use of fossil fuels like crude oil, coal, and natural gas is not a long term sustainable solution for electrcity supply as it contributes to carbon dioxide emissions and increased global warming. The Swedish parliament has therefore set a goal for 2015 that wind power should produce 10 TWh per year which accounts for about 7% of the country's electricity consumption.

To reach that goal, wind power development on a much larger scale is necessary. Technical developments towards larger wind turbines change the costs, and enable good profitability for both the community and the company operating offshore wind farms.

Hence, there are several reasons, including energy- and environmental-political and company- and community-economical, for establishing large wind farms at sea.