Danish developers told to do more on resident purchase rights

DENMARK: Communities in close proximity to new Danish wind power installations have been granted improved access to ownership rights following amendments to the national renewable energy law.

Prototypes not included... Siemens' testing centre in Østerild, Denmark
Prototypes not included... Siemens' testing centre in Østerild, Denmark

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In 2008, Denmark passed a law requiring wind developers to offer at least 20% of a project for purchase by residents living in the relevant local authority area. The aim was to encourage local support of wind power development.

Should demand for shares at "cost price" exceed supply, priority must be granted to residents living within a 4.5 kilometre radius of any project.

The new amendments expand the obligation on developers to inform residents about their preferential purchase rights. All neighbours within a radius of six times the rotor span of a proposed wind turbine must now be directly informed by letter and the offer period has been extended from four to eight weeks.

Further powers of control have also been granted to system operator, which must approve all offer communications prior to its distribution to residents.

The amendment is an attempt to prevent use of "scare tactics" by developers to stop interested neighbours from exercising their purchase rights by making the price of shares apparently unrealistic.

Neighbours have no right of purchase of prototype wind turbines.

To encourage community ownership of the 450MW of planned near-shore wind projects, a project is eligible for a DKK 0.01/kWh (€0.0014/kWh) incentive payment if it is 30% owned by local residents and businesses. Purchase rights are available within 16 kilometres of a near-shore wind farm.

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