Vesterhav Syd EIA Process Hits Replay

The Danish Energy Agency has initiated a new environmental impact assessment (EIA) process for Vattenfall’s Vesterhav Syd offshore wind farm due to a cancelation of a part of its license for the project construction.

Danish Energy Agency (Illustration)

According to the Danish Energy Agency, the Energy Board of Appeal canceled the part of the license after completing the processing of a number of appeals concerning the project.

An EIA supplement will now be drawn up for the offshore wind farm, after which the agency will be able to make its final decision.

The new process is said to include the specific project and consultation process for the public interests involved, as well as a right to appeal.

“Stability and predictability are important elements in any major infrastructure investment, not least in the energy sector. With the Danish Energy Board of Appeals ruling on Vesterhav Syd and the procedural consequences as they are known today, the way of working with offshore wind investments in Denmark has been questioned. This creates unclarity, which does not benefit any investment and comes at a cost,” said Michael Simmelsgaard, Head of Offshore Wind at Vattenfall.

Although the decision does not directly concern the Vesterhav Nord offshore wind farm, the Danish Energy Agency expects to reopen part of the construction license for the project to make a final decision with a right of appeal.

The similarities between the two projects mean that there could also be a new EIA including public consultation for the Vesterhav Nord project, which will depend on a specific assessment.

“Regarding Vesterhav Nord, it is important for us that affected neighbours and the local community are involved. Therefore, we prefer that a renewed EIA assessment, as the Danish Energy Agency indicates in their announcement, is also carried out on Vesterhav Nord,” Simmelsgaard concluded.

Vesterhav Syd and Vesterhav Nord will comprise a total of 41 Siemens Gamesa 8MW turbines. Offshore construction is expected to begin this year off the west coast of Jutland, with full commissioning scheduled for 2020.