View from Ersträsk across Markbygden, fotomontage © svevind.se
Sweden´s biggest wind farm is being built in Norrbotten.
The wind farm in Markbygden in Piteå municipality is planned to become Europe’s biggest on land and one of the biggest in the world. Just over 1100 wind turbines will produce up to 12 TWh of electricity annually. 12 TWh is four times more than the wind power generated in Sweden today and half of Sweden’s goal for wind power production in 2020.
The government gave the go-ahead for Markbygden in March 2010. The wind farm is expected to be completed by 2020.
“This is a wind power project without comparison,” says Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren.
Markbygdens principal owner is Svevind AB, which develops renewable energy sources with a focus on wind power. In May 2008 Enercon, one of the world’s largest wind power manufacturers, became a part owner in the wind farm.
Markbygden is a geographical area at the crossroads of three country highways. There are exceptionally good wind conditions that are ideal for wind power. Big power transmission lines cross the park at two places. The power lines are necessary for transferring wind power to the existing electricity grid.
Close to the park there are several large hydro-electric stations that are able to provide backup power. Backup power is the electrical power that must be available when there is no wind, so that there is always electricity when it is needed.
“The permanent local population is positive toward the windfarm. They regard the construction as an opportunity for commerce, schools and care in the area to survive and develop,” says Stefan Lundmark at the Piteå municipal wind power centre.
The municipality is doing everything to get the establishment of the wind farm to proceed as smoothly as possible. They are working on industrial development and toward strengthening training and research regarding wind power. The infrastructure is being extended and the need for labour mapped out. Piteå is investing in becoming the wind power centre for the entire Barents region.