Tortuous path for Sweden's next project at Skottarev

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Sweden's next offshore project, Skottarev, is following the same long and tortuous path for gaining its construction permits that Vattenfall was forced to take with its recently completed 110 MW Lillgrund wind plant, which was nearly ten years in process. The Skottarev project, being developed by Favonius, is to consist of 30, 3-6 MW wind turbines. It will be located eight kilometres from Sweden's southwest shore in the Kattegat Sea between Sweden and Denmark. Favonius first proposed its project in 1998 -- and has hit another stumbling block. Although given the go-ahead in December by the local environmental authority, a 500 strong group called Rädda Hallandskusten (Save Halland's Coast) has filed a new petition against the proposal, this time appealing to the regional authority. That could delay things by another year, says Gert-Olof Holst of Favonius. "While in Sweden we have a lot of areas left onshore to develop, we know the government is interested in offshore and we think Skottarev is interesting for them to look at," he says. The Skottarev site has easy access to viable grid connection and is blessed with good winds; production from the wind farm could be as high as 0.5 TWh a year. Even if permits were granted today, the company would need to determine whether it would be economically feasible to go ahead with construction, Holst adds. "There's a rumour that perhaps free grid connection for offshore projects would be one way the Swedish government could help offshore developers," he says. "That is a rumour. But although it is difficult to predict turbine prices and the economic picture, I still think there's a big chance we will build Skottarev."

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