Vattenfall scraps project after Swedish military veto

Vattenfall and property developer Wallenstam have scrapped a 300MW wind farm off the coast of Sweden after the country's military vetoed the companies' revised plans for the project.

The Swedish Armed Forces argued the project would interfere with a shooting range
The Swedish Armed Forces argued the project would interfere with a shooting range

The developers secured an environmental permit to use 83 turbines with tip heights of 170 metres at their planned 300MW Taggen wind farm off the south coast of Sweden in 2012.

But they revised their plans to make use of more advanced turbine technology, opting for 40 units with tip heights of 220 metres.

However, when the Swedish Defence Forces shot down the updated project, arguing it would have interfered with one of their shooting ranges 25km west of the proposed site for Taggen.

Under Swedish law, the military’s objection to the project means that a court cannot decide the matter, unless the central government overrides the veto, chairman of the joint development company Mattias Sjölberg explained.

"Now we must focus on taking the lessons we learned from Taggen into the next offshore project," he added.

Taggen is not the first Swedish offshore wind farm abandoned due to military concerns.

An Eolus Vind-led development group abandoned their plans for the 2.5GW Blekinge wind farm, also off the south coast, after the government agreed with the military that its construction would interfere with defence.

The military had objected to the project, but a Swedish land and environment court rejected its veto, paving the way for central government authorities to approve it.

However, the government ultimately rejected the project’s permit in 2016, arguing it would interfere with Sweden’s military. 

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