Major utility seeks approval for 40 MW wind farm at Kjøllefjord

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Major utility Statkraft has applied to state authority NVE for permission to construct a 40 MW wind farm at Kjøllefjord in Lebesby at a projected cost of EUR 40.6 million. During what is turning out to be a hectic period of planning for the wind power industry in Norway, Statkraft's Knut Mollestad is confident that approval will be forthcoming, but warns that construction may not begin until 2005 once the permitting process has run its course. Statkraft is considering installation of 20, 2 MW machines or eight 5 MW units and is looking at several financing alternatives. The Norwegian government will pay 7.5% of the investment costs, up to a limit of EUR 761,000/MW, although Mollestad says that initial projections put a cost at 30% higher than that, so further equity will be needed. The past few months have seen a flurry of wind power activity, with several large projects overcoming their latest hurdles. The Norwegian authorities are looking to increase annual wind output in the country to 3 TWh by 2010. Mollestad says the recent activity is more a matter of coincidental timing than any true upturn in the market. He thinks it is highly likely that a market for trade of green power credits will be introduced in Norway as it has been in Sweden. "The politicians here have already started to look at the possibility of some kind of new system of green certificates. We can see it being a positive step forward," he says.

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