Swedish wind turbines to power UK households

State-owned Swedish energy giant Vattenfall has announced plans to build two new wind turbine parks in the UK, with enough installed capacity to light up 162,000 British homes.

Swedish wind turbines to power UK households

The new investment is worth 4.7 billion kronor ($400 million) and will put Vattenfall firmly on the power grid map as one of the UK’s leading producers of wind-powered electricity, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

“As the British government sees the extension of land-based wind power as an important component to economic growth and supports its development, the British markets is profitable for us,” said Peter Smink, head of Vattenfall’s sustainable energy projects.

The first park of 76 wind turbines will be built in south Wales, near Neath Port Talbot and Rhondda Cynon Taf. Installed capacity of 228 megawatt would allow the park to service the annual electricity needs of about 140,000 homes, if the turbines run at full capacity without any snags. Electricity generation could begin at the end of 2016, the company predicted.

Some 18 wind turbines are currently being erected at the Clashindarroch Wind Farm in Aberdeenshire in east Scotland. The park should be up and running by the start of 2015, the company said.

Vattenfall began investing in UK wind farms in 2008 and runs Thanet, off the Kent coast in southeast England, which is one of the world’s biggest off-shore wind farms.

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Sweden to double wind energy production in next four years

Wind energy is set to double its share of Sweden's power supply over the next four years as a string of giant projects come online.

Sweden to double wind energy production in next four years
The Gabrielsberget wind project in Västerbotten. Photo: Swewind
The contribution of wind energy is scheduled to grow from 17TWh in 2018 to 35 TWh in 2022, taking wind's share from 12 percent to 25 percent of total power produced. 
Charlotte Unger, chief executive of the Swedish Wind Energy Association trade body said the pro-renewable policy decisions had been driving growth. 
“Sweden has the best regulatory regime for wind power projects from a European perspective, and therefore production costs the least here,” she told Swedish state broadcaster SVT.  “Investors have confidence in wind power in Sweden, and that's because of the policies that exist.” 
The largest new wind farm is the giant Markbyygden project outside Piteå, which is expected to supply 10TWh per year as it comes online in stages from this year, making it one of Europe's largest wind farms.  
Other major projects are the Överturingen wind farm in Västernorrland, Åskälen in Jämtland, and Valhalla in Gävleborg. 
The new farms will make up for the shutdown of two reactors at the Ringhals nuclear power station in 2019 and 2020. 
Because the majority of the new wind power projects are in the northern counties of Norrland, Västerbotten and Jämtland, the shift will require Sweden's state-owned grid operator Svenska Kraftnät to rapidly improve capacity, especially in central Sweden. 
But Niclas Damsgaard, the grid company's senior market strategist, said he believed the company would be able to keep pace with the growth. 
“It's going to work, but all this will mean an increase in risk. In an extreme case, some major industrial consumers may not be able to buy as much power as they want, but it's not going to mean difficulties across the country.”  
Unger said that if the new production exceeded Sweden's own needs, then the excess could be exported into Europe, reducing the continent's coal use. 
Between 2022 and 2040, the Swedish Wind Energy Association hopes to double the amount of wind power produced in  once again, taking it to half of Sweden's total power use.