04 March 2010
Ministry of the Environment
Go-head for 1101 wind turbines to produce up to 12 TWh renewable electricity in Markbygden in Piteå
The Government has decided to permit Markbygden Vind AB to build and run up to 1101 wind turbines of a total height of a maximum of 200 metres in the Markbygden area of Piteå Municipality. Fully built, the wind farm will produce up to 12 TWh of electricity per year, which is four times more than Sweden's present wind power production and equivalent to the average of what two Ringhals nuclear power reactors (R1 +R2) produced in 2005-2008.
"The Markbygden project is the largest ever wind power project planned in Sweden. When it is realised, the surplus of renewable energy will be equivalent to the domestic consumption of two million households in Sweden per year (not including electrical heating),"comments Minister for the Environment Andreas Carlgren.
"The Government is pursuing a very deliberate policy to increase the share of renewable electricity in Sweden. Wind power has a key role to play in this context. Three times as much wind power electricity is now being produced in Sweden compared with when the Government entered office and this growth is expected to continue. I am therefore very pleased that the Government can now grant a permit to Markbygden. This is a project that also has strong local political support," says Mr Carlgren.
The decision is bound up with the terms necessary to protect people's health and the environment, and the interests of the reindeer industry and defence.
Deliberations and terms
The Government considers, given the terms prescribed, that the reindeer industry in the areas deemed to be of national interest will not be significantly hindered and that there are thus no obstacles to granting a permit. Almost the entire wind farm area is winter grazing land, primarily for the Östra Kikkejaure Sami village. Approximately a quarter of the Sami village's total winter grazing lands are included in the wind farm area, but only a very limited part of the area considered to be of national interest for the reindeer industry will be affected.
- More detailed planning and design of the wind farm and roads is to be undertaken together with the county administrative board and the Sami villages concerned, so as to limit their impact on the reindeer industry as far as possible.
- The company is to take measures to compensate for the interference caused by its activities to the reindeer industry in the area studied and the areas in its vicinity.
- In consultation with the county administrative board and the Sami villages concerned, the company is to draw up a programme for, and conduct studies of, the impact of the wind farm on the activities of the reindeer industry. These studies, which are to be paid for by the company, are to cover impact during construction and installation work and when the turbines are running compared with conditions before their construction. This programme is to be approved by the county administrative board. Construction and installation work may not begin before the county administrative board has approved the programme.
It has been considered that the project will not significantly affect the environment of the Natura 2000 areas and authorisation under the provisions of Natura 2000 will therefore not be required. The company is committed to excluding the Natura 2000 areas, the nature reserve, biotope protection and class 1 and 2 wetlands from the areas in which turbines will be placed. No area has been considered to be of national interest for nature, cultural or environmental conservation or for outdoor recreation. The Government expects the turbines and roads to be located so as to limit their impact on the nature values of the area as far as possible.
- More detailed planning and design of the wind farm and roads is to be undertaken together with the county administrative board and Piteå Municipality, so as to limit their impact on nature values as far as possible.
- Together with the county administrative board and Piteå Municipality, the company is to draw up a programme for, and conduct studies of, the impact of the wind farm on flora and fauna, particularly birds. These studies, which are to be paid for by the company, are to cover impact during construction and installation work and when the turbines are running, compared with conditions before their construction. This programme is to be approved by the county administrative board.
- Construction and installation work may not begin before the county administrative board has approved the programme.
The Government considers that defence interests do not constitute an obstacle to establishing the wind farm as a whole. The exact location and design of each turbine in the area studied are to be approved by the Swedish Armed Forces before construction and installation work on the wind farm begins.
The further process
- Following the Government's decision, the matter will be returned to the environmental assessment committee, which is to decide on the more detailed contents of the permit, and apart from the terms prescribed by the Government, on the terms to apply for the permit.
- Construction and installation measures required for these activities must have been taken by 31 December 2021 at the latest.
- The permit applies for 30 years from the date the company notifies the county administrative board that operations or parts of it have begun.
- The wind farm area is a total of some 450 km2 but the actual area of land to be used is only some 15 km2, i.e. around 3.3 per cent, including storage sites, new roads and areas for new power lines.
Press Secretary to Andreas Carlgren
+46 8 405 35 54