There are plans to erect wind turbines with a maximum total production of up to 400 megawatts (MW) at the five wind farms that make up the Bjerkreim cluster. According to the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), these plants are among the best in Norway based on factors such as wind conditions and the need for new grid installations. The players who own the wind power projects have decided to establish so much new production that a new sub station in the main grid will be positive for society.

On account of a favourable competition situation in the market, the estimated investment costs for the sub station are now lower than previously. The total cost is currently estimated at NOK 500–540 million, while the previous estimate was NOK 530–620 million.

“We still consider our investment to be profitable from the perspective of social economics,” adds Elisabeth Vike Vardheim.

In addition to linking new power production to the grid, there are also plans to tie in new power lines to the station with a view to reinforcing power supply in the region. Bjerkreim will thus contain facilities linked both to the main grid and to the regional power grid, with Statnett owning the main grid facilities and Lyse Elnett the regional grid facilities.

Road construction to create access to the plants is under way, while the initial work on the transformer station itself is scheduled to begin in early March. According to the construction timetable, the new sub station should be ready in 2019.

“We’re looking forward to starting the work, and plan to carry out construction of Bjerkreim SubStation in a safe, cost-effective and sustainable manner,” concludes Elisabeth Vike Vardheim.