A Norwegian utility, Nord-Trøndelag Elektrisitetsverk (NTE), has agreed to take power from a planned wind plant in Sweden to avoid a costly upgrade of the grid at Bjørkvatnet, east of Lierne, on the Swedish side of the border. The upgrade would have cost SEK 10 million, ten times more than the cost of connecting to NTE, putting an end to the entire project, developer VindGruppen tells Addresseavisen newspaper. The company's Pär-Ola Säterhall adds: "Our total investment will now be SEK 7.5 million, which given the Swedish framework conditions for wind power, will be economically favourable for this pilot project." The company has several projects in Jämtland, but Bjørkvatnet will be the first to be carried out by its Østersund division. Wind speed measurements are underway, and VindGruppen says it does not rule out other wind developments in the area. This, however, will require NTE to expand its net capacity. "Our line capacity is already as good as fully exploited with a total of 238 MW from our five hydro plants in the region," says Kenneth Brandsås of NTE. "We can cope with a little megawatt from VindGruppen, but no more than that." Säterhall insists he is more than satisfied for the time being. "There has been great excitement among the local people at Bjørkvatnet and in Gäddede over these plans. They hope this is just the beginning of a larger commitment to wind power, which can bring in new jobs and faith in the future for all of Frostviken. We also see this as a positive development for Swedish-Norwegian cross-border co-operation."
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol