Norwegian authorities demand environmental report into proposed wind farm

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Norway's Water Resources and Energy Administration (NVE) has demanded a special environmental impact assessment and feasibility study of a proposed 32 turbine wind farm atop Høg-Jæren, a 200 metre high prominence in an area of coastal flatlands near Stavanger. A central part of the study is the requirement for graphic visualisation of the proposed 90 metre high wind turbines, reports Stavanger Aftenblad newspaper. Other concerns include noise and impact on local wildlife (in particular, the local breeding population of dunlin), cultural heritage, agriculture "and other commercial activities." Gunnar Henriksen of consultants Origo Miljø, which will carry out the study for developer Norsk Vind Energi, told the newspaper the study would also look at the effects of the NOK 500 million project on "the local economy, employment and wealth creation at local and regional level." NVE, the licensing authority, is reported to be rather less sympathetic to concerns voiced by Rogaland county officials over the impact of the project on the unusual geological formations characteristic of the area. These are the subject of excursions from the University of Bergen, where scientists believe the local geology can shed light on the melting process after the last ice age. The study will not be finished before autumn next year.

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