Green electricity grows stronger

Svevind knows which way the wind blows

Svevind is engaged in wind power in the north of Sweden, and its project in Markbygden, Piteå Municipality, has the potential to become one of the largest wind farm networks in Europe, and maybe even the world. Once fully developed in 2022, its accumulated production output is expected to reach 8–12 TWh. This is equivalent to one-third of Sweden’s total hydro power production, and involves investment in the region of EUR 80 million.

mikael-kyrk

We put five questions about wind power, and Markbygden, to Mikael Kyrk, Operations Manager at Svevind. 

Why did you choose to locate the wind farm at Markbygden?

“The area was identified as early as 2003 thanks to a new mapping model developed by Hans Bergström, professor at the Meteorological Institute at Uppsala University (MIUU). The model is based on long-term measurement of wind and climate conditions throughout Sweden. And when Wolfgang Kropp happened to meet Hans Bergström later, they started a partnership which saw the mapping verified and modified to include further measurements according to the MIUU model. During this process, at the start of the 2000s, Markbygden emerged as an ideal location thanks to its favourable wind conditions and close proximity to existing power cable networks. I would say Markbygden is more of a wind resource than a wind power project – like a mine, for example – around which a new industry is being created.”

How is the project progressing right now, in 2013?

“In 2012 we were granted permission to build 314 wind turbines as part of phase 1. We are currently building 36 of these, while the planning phase for an additional 77 is underway. We have submitted the application for phase 2 of the project, involving construction of a further 400 turbines. This will take around one year. During the year, we hope to be able to begin with the application for phase 3. Our plan and objective is to construct an average of 100–150 wind turbines every year. The Markbygden project is expected to be completed by 2022, with total investment reaching  80 million Euros.”

How have the local population and industries in the region reacted to the project?

“For a massive project like Markbygden, transparency and long-term thinking are vital. We have been engaged in close dialogue with the local population and those living in the area from the start of the project, back in 2004–2005. This has been a crucial factor for us. The local population have been both pro-active and enthusiastic, and shown fantastic commitment to the project, with four reference groups being set up in the region to work with various issues. This is the way we’ve worked from day one. They’ve successfully identified opportunities at the same time as addressing difficulties and more uncomfortable issues, which we’ve managed to deal with together. We are fully committed to forming successful partnerships with local enterprise, and wind power can help create many new jobs in the region.”

What kind of synergies can the Markbygden development create?

“For a long-term project of this scale, it’s difficult to see the overall picture. For the region itself, the project will see the local road network expanded by around 600 kilometres. These are roads which will be constructed and then later maintained during both summer and winter – this alone will create a number of employment opportunities. The establishment of a new wind power industry also requires a range of expertise during the various phases, everything from construction workers to operational and maintenance positions. I hope the project reinforces the area’s faith in the future and leads to more people staying in Norrbotten.”

What opportunities are there for actors seeking to invest in wind power in Norrbotten?

“Green electricity is a vital part of everyone’s future. Today, in 2013, there are around 2,500 wind turbines throughout Sweden, but in 12 years this figure will rise to 12,000. The wind is a vital, major export commodity for northern Sweden as a whole. The wind power industry in Norrbotten offers major projects and opportunities with considerable potential for those looking to invest in an industry of the future.”

Svevind is a privately owned company located in the north of Sweden operating in the wind power sector. Svevind plans, develops, sells and operates land-based wind power projects of varying sizes, spanning everything from single turbines to major wind farm networks.

A long-term process. How Svevind works:

  • Svevind looks for suitable locations in regards to existing wind conditions, power cable networks, presence of contrary opinions and development opportunities for the area.
  • Thereafter, the design of the installation is planned and the basis of the permit application is drafted.
  • The inquiry is carried out in consultation with the private individuals, organisations and authorities concerned.
  • For wind estimations, planning, developing, consultation and environmental impact assessment (EIA), Svevind hires consultants specialised in each respective area.
  • When project descriptions and EIA are finalised, the applications for permits are filed or a building report is sent to the municipality concerned.
  • For each project, Svevind Holding AB forms a subsidiary responsible for developing.
  • Once the installation has been granted a permit, Svevind Holding AB, or the subsidiary in question, can decide whether to sell either the whole/or parts of the project, or retain it for installation and operation under the subsidiary.