Sweden Nixes Vattenfall’s Offshore Wind Project

The government of Sweden has rejected Vattenfall’s application to build an offshore wind farm at Stora Middelgrund off Sweden’s west coast, citing ”negative effects on the environment” and ”national interests” as the reasons for the decision.

The Swedish government will not grant Vattenfall permission to build and operate the wind farm located offshore Halmstad, saying that ”the applicant has not shown that the chosen location meets the requirement for suitable location according to ch. 2. Section 6 of the Environmental Code.”

”The government is working hard to increase the production of fossil-free electricity and has recently given permission to two offshore wind farms off the west coast. After difficult balancing of interests, the government has today come to the conclusion that an establishment at Stora Middelgrund would risk damaging sensitive natural values ​​in an unacceptable way. Even the risk of a negative impact on national interests in shipping has weighed heavily in the government’s assessment,” said Sweden’s Climate and Environment Minister Romina Pourmokhtari.

The wind farm at Stora Middelgrund was planned to be built on the Stora Middelgrund offshore bank in the southern Kattegatt in the Swedish economic zone, outside the territorial border.

The completed wind farm was estimated to be able to produce between 2.5 and 3 terawatt hours annually, which corresponds to 1.5 per cent of Sweden’s total electricity consumption.

The matter of a wind farm at Stora Middelgrund has been prepared by the County Administrative Board in Halland County, which together with several authorities and interest organizations have opposed permission being granted. The County Administrative Board has also denied a so-called Natura 2000 permit for the construction and operation of the wind farm.

Vattenfall acquired the Stora Middelgrund project in the winter of 2019. The project was originally developed for 108 turbines with an output of 8 MW, which gives a total output of 864 MW.

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Vattenfall has since applied to the government to change the existing permit in order to be able to build fewer but higher and more efficient turbines. In total, the wind farm would have comprised around 50 wind turbines with a total height of 290 metres which would have gone into operation by 2030.

Vattenfall also said that the company has supplemented the amendment application with a Natura 2000 assessment which shows that coexistence between wind power and the environment was possible in the area through a number of adaptations and commitments.


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