State OKs major windmill project

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Norwegian authorities have approved plans to build five new wind-power plants in the western county of Rogaland. The project, involving erection of large windmills, could double Norwegian production of wind power.

The windmills will be constructed in the townships of Bjerkreim, Hå and Gjesdal and together produce as much as 1.3 twh of power annually. For Oil and Energy Minister Ole Borten Moe, it was a chance to prove that he’s paying attention to renewable energy projects, not just more oil and gas exploration.

“The five wind power stations make up comprehensive and concentrated development of some of the country’s best wind resources,” Moe said in a prepared statement. “We’re granting authority for more wind power production today than has been built up in the entire country so far.”

Moe claimed the project will be “an important contribution” towards Norway’s development of renewable energy over the next several years, although some industry analysts were skeptical whether it would be profitable. That’s because the number of wind turbines allowed was smaller than requested, a result of concerns over, among other things, their effect on Norway’s endangered population of large owls that live in the area and could be killed or injured by the huge windmills.

The five projects approved were reduced from seven proposed, also because of concerns over other large birds and the natural landscape.

Views and News staff