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Barents Wind

By Dag A. Hd, the Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature

The first demonstration plant has opened in Murmansk this fall. The plant is a 200-kW second-hand Danish turbine.

This is the result of an initiative of the environmental organisation GAIA in Murmansk, the Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature, and others.

Best in Europe

The organisations behind the windturbine in Murmansk have conducted several studies in order to find future alternative sources of power to replace that produced by the Kola Nuclear Power Plant. The latter plant has to be closed at the end of its lifetime; the two oldest reactors are already slated for shutdown in 2004.

One of the studies describes Kola as the most suitable region in Europe for large-scale wind power development. Wind power has proved to be one of the most promising alternatives, and the suitable conditions make windpower one of the most cost-efficient options for new power production in the Murmansk region.

Practical development

To facilitate the development of wind power in the region, VetroEnergo Ltd has been established as a Russian company to develop production facilities for wind power, including the above-mentioned turbine. VetroEnergo is planning commercial development of wind power capacity up to 800 MW. Teriberka, a small town located 100 km east of Murmansk, is suitable for development of large-scale wind parks. VetroEnergo proposes to start the development with a pilot wind park in Teriberka.

While power prices generally are low in Russia, rising fuel prices and expensive transportation make windpower commercially interesting to the many villages and settlements not connected to the grid in Northern Russia. A feasibility study shows a short payback period on the investment in combined wind-diesel systems in these locations. VetroEnergo has therefore started to develop business plans for the installation of wind-diesel systems in some remote settlements on Kola, in Archangels, and in Nenets.

The wind mill at Barents Sea coast in NW Russia has excellent conditions for wind power. The wind resources are good and the infrastructure is suitable for large-scale development. win7

Dag A. Hd standing beside the 200 k-W second-hand plant just before it has been erected on a hill visible from the city of Murmansk. The electricity produced by the turbine will be partly consumed by the hotel, and partly sold to the local grid.

Information: Dag A. Hd, e-mail: [email protected],