Sandøy wind power plant - Closure or new licence?

When old wind power plants are approaching the end of their concession period and the turbines start to fail, it is time to pack your bags and restore nature. This concessionaire has apparently not fully realized this, so they are expecting a new concession with larger tubes.

Sandøy wind power plant is located on Harøya, one of the neighboring islands of Haramsøya at the far end of the Mørekysten. The concession that was granted in 1999 expires on 1 April 2024. Perhaps NVE once imagined that this expiry date would be a bad April Fool's joke, and that this wind power plant would never be shut down? Perhaps that is why they are now processing an application for a new 25-year concession period with larger turbines for this plant?

It doesn't feel right in any way that old concessions in this way will become so-called "perpetual concessions".

What will the people on Haramsøya do?, close by, now think, if the given concessions do not have a final expiry date? What about all the other conflict-ridden facilities that have now pushed forward? Fosen, which was judged illegal in the Supreme Court, but which the government allows to continue indefinitely? Øyfjellet, Kjølberget in Finnskogen? Okla at Stadlandet? The frog? Sørmarkfjellet? Silence? Buhei? Little sand? Is it any wonder it's boiling around the country?

When a license is granted is this not just a contract between the concessionaire and the administrative authority, but at least as important, a contract between the concessionaire, the authorities, and not least the people. The conditions given are binding and must be observed. What has created much of the conflict around wind power is that, to a far too large extent, the concessionaire has been allowed to make repeated and significant changes along the way after the first license application, and in addition, deadline extensions and extended license periods have been handed out quite liberally. From NVE's side, preferably with no consultation or publication of the application.

See for example District court verdict for Sandhaugen wind power plant where one has given repeated extensions and extensions without putting any of this out for consultation. The district court also particularly noted the administrative authority's eagerness to issue such decisions; "NVE was extraordinarily efficient, and approved the application the following day - 30 June 2015. It appears in the decision that the change would not lead to altered effects on the environment, and that consultation was not necessary."

Another glaring example is Smøla, where over 100 white-tailed eagles, more than 200 of the highly vulnerable and genetically important ruffed grouse and a number of other endangered and red-listed bird species have been documented killed in the facility. NVE extended the concession for the facility from end date 01.01.2026 until 01.09.2035 without this being put out for consultation or published. The consequence was that when the organizations complained on this "hidden" decision, the appeals were rejected because the appeal deadline had expired.

Maybe things have improved at the administrative authority for the new license application for the Sandøy wind power plant was at least put out for consultation.

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's consultation response

Green Warriors of Norway submitted consultation responses by the deadline of 2 December 2021. We put forward a clear demand that the application must be rejected, the facility closed down at the end of the concession period, and nature (peat bog) must be restored and restored (the 0 alternative). Read more in our consultation response (PDF below).


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