Norway to spend €6bn on wind and hydro

The 150MW Alta plant in the far north of Norway is one of those in line for renewal (Statkraft)
Norwegian renewable energy generator Statkraft has announced plans to invest up to €6bn on hydroelectric and wind projects.

The state-owned company, the largest generator of green power in Europe, plans to spend between €1.8bn and €3bn upgrading Norway’s hydroelectric plants.

Between €1.2bn and €2bn will go on rehabilitating dams and modernising older power plants. A little more than 40% of Norway’s electricity is generated by hydropower.

Another €1bn will be spent renewing onshore wind farms and building new ones.

The aim is to double wind power to around 2,500 GWh and increase hydropower by about 20%.

Statkraft chief executive Christian Rynning-Tønnesen said it was the biggest investment of its kind in Norwegian hydro and wind for decades.

“This will be a major contribution to the energy system in Norway and to the green transition,” he said.

He added that the plan was to increase hydro and wind in tandem, with the former providing the base-load needed to anchor the latter.

Birgitte Ringstad Vartdal, Statkraft’s executive vice president for the Nordic region, added that the renewal of a hydro plants was a “large and complex” project, and took a long time to carry out.

For the wind sector, Statkraft is preparing the Moifjellet 260MW project in Rogaland, in the west of the country, and the farms in line for renewal include Smøla, Hitra and Kjøllefjord in central and northern Norway. When complete, these should generate about 40% more electricity.  

For the greenfield projects, Statkraft is looking at four sites in Finnmark, Northern Norway, if the region’s grid can be improved.

The company added that it was “considering many new wind power projects throughout Norway and has a good dialogue with landowners, municipalities, and affected stakeholders”.

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