Smøla 150 MW plant extension enters third phase

Norway's former prime minister Gro Brundtland inaugurated the second, 48-turbine phase of Statkraft's Smøla island wind farm in late September. The 150 MW plant now has a total of 68 turbines, all supplied by Siemens Power Generation. The mix of 20, 2 MW turbines and 40, 2.3 MW turbines will generate about 450 GWh of electricity a year. With Smøla and another 40 MW of capacity at the nearby island of Hitra, also supplied by Siemens, Statkraft now operates more than half of Norway's 270 MW of wind power capacity. The company is also planning a third phase on Smøla, says project manager Jan Hågå. "It will be on Smøla island, we know that, but it will be a different location than the first two and it depends a bit on access to the grid," Hågå says. Statkraft is hoping to connect to Hitra with a subterranean line then piggyback onto a new main power line planned on the mainland at Tjeldbergodden south of Trollheim. The utility's current plans for phase three are for about another 150 MW of capacity, making it one of Europe's largest land-based wind generation sites. While the site Statkraft is considering on the northern portion of the island is already zoned for wind construction, Hågå was wary of pinpointing a completion date for the new phase. The two first phases at Smøla were built at a cost of NOK 1.3 billion (EUR 166 million), with at least NOK 138 million (EUR 17 million) in financing provided by the government's Enova renewable energy agency.