Europe’s Largest Renewable Energy Generator to Invest $6.6B in Norwegian Hydro, Wind

Wind energy turbines in a field as Statkraft is planning record investments in Norwegian hydro and wind power

(Credit: Pixabay)

by | Jan 10, 2024

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Statkraft, the largest renewable energy generator in Europe, is investing nearly $6.6 billion into its Norwegian hydro and wind power facilities and construction of new onshore wind farms. 

The investment will be split across upgrades and transformations of Norwegian hydroelectric power plants, renewal of existing and construction of new onshore wind farms and rehabilitation of dams and modernization of older power plants. It is the latest major boon to the renewable energy industry, which has seen huge growth globally over the past few years with billions in public and private investments.

Wind power will be the main source of power needs of the future for Norway, but hydropower will still be a strong player. The result of the investments will be 2,500 gigawatt hours or more wind power production, which is more than double the current production, plus 1.5 to 2.5 GW increased capacity in hydroelectric power plants — an increase of 20%. 

“The future power system in Norway and Europe will need both more power and increased flexibility,” Christian Rynning-Tønnesen, CEO of Statkraft, said in the announcement. “Phasing in more intermittent power such as wind and solar through increased capacity and flexibility in hydropower is key to succeed with the transition to a net zero future.”

Hydropower Improvements

In addition, Statkraft is planning major upgrades to its hydropower plants in Mauranger, Aura, Alta, and Svean plants in the western, central, and northern parts of Norway. The $2.2 billion allocated for the rehabilitation of dams and modernization of older power plants will ensure continued cost-effective and regulated power production, the company said.

The investments will harden the infrastructure from extreme weather, handling of damage floods, and terrorist threats. 

Statkraft, which is the largest producer of wind power in Norway, has already started the concession and planning process to build the Moifjellet 260 megawatt wind power project in Rogaland. And its actions aim to boost production by around 40% through repowering the Smøla, Hitra, and Kjøllefjord windfarms in central and northern Norway.

“We have fantastic wind resources in Norway,” said Birgitte Ringstad Vartdal, Statkraft’s executive vice president for the Nordic region. “Onshore wind is the technology that can provide us with new power in the fastest and cheapest way before 2030. We should therefore develop the best wind projects so that we can contribute to both industrial development and emission cuts.”

The Possibility of Further Clean Energy Expansion

To further expand its wind power, Statkraft is looking at four possible wind projects in Finnmark, Northern Norway, as well as a pipeline of many new wind power projects throughout Norway. The company has a dialogue with landowners, municipalities, and affected stakeholders for these projects. 

The investment announcement comes as wind power is gaining steam across the globe. Last year, Norway also launched the world’s biggest floating wind farm, Hywind Tampern farm, off its west coast. The project used a new technology to tie 11 giant turbines to the sea floor.

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