Plan to build four test turbines at Troms

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Norsk Miljøkraft Tromsø AS (NMK) wants to build four test turbines at a site five kilometres from Kvitfjell on Kvaløya in the Norwegian Arctic province of Troms, where it already has a licence to develop a ten square kilometre site. The combined capacity of the turbines is to be 7 MW. NMK chief Jonny Sørensen says he expects a decision on siting the test turbines from the licensing authority, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Administration (NVE), this month. The aim of the NKK 50 million project is to study potential problems such as icing while monitoring wind speeds at turbine heights of 50-100 metres. Local reindeer are also likely to be unwitting participants, as the company is anxious to observe their reaction to the test rigs. NMK has chosen a test site known as Bakklandeidet, which offers easy access to the grid via a nearby power cable and is well out of sight of most local residents. The company has been studying wind conditions in northern Norway since 1996. Meantime, in a change from the original specifications for the major Kvitfjell project, it will now comprise 80, 2.5 MW turbines with a capacity of 200 MW and annual production of 660 GWh. No funding is yet in place, however, either for the Kvitfjell project or the test turbines, confirms Sørensen. NMK, he adds, has put a cost of NKK 50 million on the test project to avoid the statutory requirement for an environmental impact assessment on developments exceeding that figure. The company is part-owner and developer of the world's most northernmost wind farm, a 40 MW development at Havøygavlen, Finnmark, using turbines from Nordex, which is expected to be operating by October.

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