Wind turbines on their way to Russia’s western Arctic

A total of 57 turbines will be installed on the windy stretches north of Murmansk City. Electricity grids are already in place. (Atle Staalesen/The Independent Barents Observer)

Seventeen shipments with turbine components will be sent to far northern region as construction of Russia’s first Arctic wind power farm progresses.

The first ship arrived this week and will soon be followed by three more, the Murmansk Trade Port informs.

On board the first ship was a total of 2,800 tons of cargo, most of it 72 ton heavy components. The shipment was sent from St.Petersburg and is now brought by trucks to the construction site located about 80 km northeast of Murmansk city.

Three more ships are on their way with more components, and the first is due to make port call in Murmansk in the nearest future. The ships are sailing from Taganrog, the port in the Above Sea, the Murmansk Port informs.

17 construction shipments

In total, 17 shipments of construction components will be sent to the region. They will carry all parts needed for the erection of 57 turbines.

The development of the Kola Wind Farm has been under development since June 2017 when General Director of Enel Russia Carlo Palasciano Villamagna announced that his company had won a tender on the construction of two wind projects in Russia, one of them in Murmansk.

Since then, Enel and its subsidiary Enel Green Power has prepared the ground for developments. Construction works officially started in September 2019.

«We are breaking ground on a strategic wind project […],» said Simone Mori, Enel Group’s Head of Europe and Euro-Mediterranean Affairs, said in a ceremony held in connection with the construction start.

«With the start of construction of this facility, we are confirming our commitment to Russia’s energy transition towards a low-carbon economy,» he added.

Will produce up to 750 GWh per year

The Kolskaya Wind Farm will have a capacity 201 MW and will be able to produce up to 750 GWh per year. It is built on a 257 hectare area on the windy stretches north of Murmansk City.

In February 2021, the company brought a 122 ton heavy project transformation to site.

Production launch was originally set to 2021 and project costs are believed to amount to €273 million.

It will the biggest wind park in Russia and one of the biggest in the world north of the Arctic Circle.

The power plant will be built on the very same spot where Dutch company Windlife Energy and its Russian subsidiary Windlife Arctic Power for several years lobbied for the development of a similar wind project.

Those plans, however, never materialized.

The Kolskaya Wind Farm will provide additional power to the Northwest Russian region that from before is a major producer of electricity.  Murmansk Oblast today produces about 60 percent of its energy from nuclear power and the remaining 40 percent from hydropower.

And critics argue that the far northern region actually does not need the additional power generating capacities.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Community in northern Quebec to make the jump from diesel to hydroelectricity, CBC News

Finland: How will Finland become carbon neutral by 2035?, Yle News

Monaco: Sea level rise to provoke ‘profound governance challenges’ & ‘difficult social choices’ says UN climate report, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Emissions dropping in EU, but not in Norway, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Climate change threatens security and industry, Russian PM says, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Wind power to be expanded to all of Sweden, Radio Sweden

United Kingdom: Documentary will show climate change through eyes of pioneering scientist, Cryopolitics Blog

United States: Alaska remote diesel generators win exemption from pollution rule, Alaska Public Media

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

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

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