Finnish fuel billionaire invests in Arctic wind parks

Wind mills at Riksgrensen, Nordland county, in northern Norway. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
The two wind parks to be built in Finnmark, Norway are located some few tens of kilometers from the border to Finland.

St1 Nordic Oy, where billionaire Mika Anttonen has a 87% ownership, teams up with two wind power companies to develop the two wind park projects Davvi and Borealis in northernmost Norway.

The new joint venture is named Grenselandet AS (Borderland).

With a total production capacity 900MW, the two planned wind farms would generate 3,6 terawatt hours annually, St1 says in a press-release.

Together, the two wind parks will be largest in Norway, second to Fosen wind park to be build outside Trondheim. Investments are estimated to around eight billion Norwegian kroner (€878 million), Norwegian business online E24 reports.

Located in the municipalities of Lebesby and Tana, the wind parks could be connected to both the Norwegian and Finnish grids. A new 220V line from the parks to Finland’s border town of Utsjoki would strengthen the Norwegian-Finnish cross-border grids in the north.

«The project will strengthen the central grid eastwards, and thereby secure a supply of renewable energy for the region. This project, along with the proposed grid concept, will enable development of energy-intensive industries. The project will provide Finnmark with the opportunity to contribute to the national emissions target by exploring their good wind conditions,» says Harald Dirdal, Project Manager of Grenselandet.

Renewable energy: a shift in the industry

St1 covers about a fifth of the Nordic petrol retail market with more than 1,500 gas stations. The company is additionally a serious player in development of renewable energy, both in technology and production.

The project is probably the first project in Norway that can be developed without governmental subsidies, and marks a step change for the renewable energy industry in Finnmark.

“This potentially marks a shift – we are now entering the times of subsidy free renewable energy development. Finnmark’s incredible wind resources mean that this is where the new times begin. We will be doing what we can to assist Grenselandet and other wind establishments in Finnmark county on their way to establishing the area as Europe’s foremost wind power area,” says Øyvind Isachsen, CEO of NORWEA, a Norwegian network organization for companies involved in wind power.

Production is planned to start sometime in the 2020s.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Arctic offshore drilling too dangerous: Trudeau, Radio Canada International

Finland:  Wind power demand prompts Finnish exporter Moventas to expand production, Yle News

Norway: Norwegian gas power plant to close after big losses, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Floating nuclear power plant should not be fueled with uranium in St. Petersburg, environmentalists say, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Wind in Arctic Sweden to power Google, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: A northern Alaska oil discovery just got a lot bigger, company says, Alaska Dispatch News

Thomas Nilsen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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