Norway’s oil and energy minister claimed he was moving forward with one of the largest wind energy projects in the world when he approved eight new plants in the Fosen and Snillfjord areas around the Trondheimsfjord on Monday. Ola Borten Moe called the project “historic” for Norwegian wind power production.
It calls for 450 windmills representing an investment of NOK 20 billion (USD 3.3 billion) to be built on the blustery bluffs around the fjord. Moe said the windmills will produce 3.7 billion kilowatt hours of power a year, enough to supply 180,000 households.
The project has sparked controversy from those who think the windmills will be a blight on the scenic coastal landscape. Reindeer herders also worried the windmills would disturb their animals. The complaints led to some modifications aimed at addressing environmental and wildlife concerns, but Moe said some parties will still be affected.
“This will generate a considerable amount of Norway’s renewable energy,” Moe said. “I think such a concentrated development is important and preferable to spreading it around.”
Concessions were granted to SAE Vind DA, Sarepta Energi AS and Zephyr AS to build the power plants at Sørmarksfjellet, Roan, Kvenndalsfjellet, Storheia, Geitfjellet, Remmafjellet, Svartmanner and Frøya.