Sjiska – in the eye of the wind
The Sjiska wind farm, with 30 turbines, was opened in October 2012. Built on sub-mountainous terrain around 25 kilometres from Kiruna, the site is surrounded by marshland and boasts highly favourable wind conditions. Nevertheless, developing a wind farm on roadless land posed a considerable challenge. Jemtska, jointly owned by Jämtkraft och Skanska, was responsible for realising the project. “During the process we gained a wealth of new knowledge which can be applied to future wind power projects,” explains Rolf Rubensson, former Project Manager at Jemtska.
What made you choose the site at Sjiska?
“There were a number of important pre-requisites. It was important to identify a location at an altitude which offered excellent wind conditions, while close proximity to power cable networks was another key factor. It was also important to locate the site relatively far from built-up areas, so as not to disturb local residents.”
Tell us about the challenges of building a wind farm on roadless land.
“At the outset, we planned to transport all the material to the site by rail, however, moving such a large volume of cargo by train had never previously been done in Europe. It later emerged that the Swedish Transport Administration was building a service road to the Lappberg Mountain Station, which meant we could use lorry transportation instead, making things much easier. Construction of 30 wind turbines requires hundreds of tonnes of material, and the project has taught us valuable new lessons about wind power development in sparsely populated areas.”
What potential do you envisage for the development of wind power in Norrbotten?
“I can only see advantages. The region offers sites at excellent altitudes with favourable wind conditions. Moreover, since the area is relatively sparsely populated, there is less disturbance to local residents compared to other regions. And, thanks to hydro power, there are excellent transmission lines which form natural conditions for generating electricity.”
What does the future hold for the wind power sector?
“Wind power is one of the renewable energy sources which is set to expand greatly in years ahead here in Sweden. Harnessing the power of wind is a logical way of producing electricity, and it has a bright future.”