Green light for pilot phase of 500-turbine Markbygden project

A huge 500 turbine project planned by Svevind in the northern Swedish municipality of Piteå has received its first piece of good news. The local government has given Svevind building permission for a 12 turbine, pilot portion of the Markbygden project. "For a project of this size, there's still a lot of things we need answers for," says project manager Mikael Kyrk. "In a way, doing the smaller project is very strategic. It's a good way to gain know-how and get local businesses involved." Still, Kyrk says he is not exactly cheered by Svevind's experience in trying to get a permit for just 12, 2 MW turbines. With a rated capacity under 25 MW, the pilot should only have had to seek permits through a single local agency. Sweden's national building and planning authority, however, "suggested" that Svevind produce a detailed plan for the pilot, adding complexity and months to the permit timeline, says Kyrk. "We were hoping for 2008 but it looks like 2009," he continues. "If we get all the go-aheads in November and order the turbines, then we must still wait 18 months for them to be delivered."