Green light for windmill farm

Finnmark-based energy company Varanger Kraft is given license to build a 200 MW windmill farm near the windy coast of the Barents Sea.

The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate announced the license to construct Rákkocearro windmill park near Berlevåg in Eastern Finnmark on Monday, BarentsObserver reports.

Varanger Kraft estimates the investment costs for a fully-developed wind farm to be between 2 and 3 billion NOK (€250 to 370 million). The energy company says the windmill farm will be developed in two stages; first with 10 windmills and then in the second stage the windmill farm can be extended to consist of 60 to 70 windmills.

General Director of Varanger Kraft Kjell Eliassen says the company now will seek a partner for developing the project. – Shared ownership will both give us expertise and capital, says Eliassen in a press-release posted at the energy company's web portal.

The second stage in the project depends on a new 420 kilovolts (kV) power line from Skaidi in Western Finnmark to Varangerbotn in Eastern Finnmark, since today’s existing grid don’t have capacity for the large amount of electricity to be produced from the planned 70 windmills.

Rákkoèearro wind farm will increase power production in the region considerably. Construction of the first windmills is likely to start in 2013.

Varanger Kraft is owned by the seven municipalities in Eastern Finnmark, a region bordering Russia’s Kola Peninsula.