Farm windmills in one of Norway's most important wetland and bird areas..?

In the series of which wind power plans are the very worst, surely this one must take the absolute prize?

It is admittedly not easy to say which wind farm is the worst these days. Here, one project worse than the other comes up on the table, and we have already seen a number of horrible projects being knocked through by the administration. It clearly does not matter if they are convicted in the Supreme Court for violations of human rights, such as on Storheia and Roan on Fosen in Trøndelag, where the Sami reindeer herding (Sør-Fosen sijte and Nord-Fosen siida) is illegally displacing them from their important winter /spring grazing areas. Nor does it matter if they destroy the most beautiful natural landscapes, natural diversity, or public health. It matters absolutely nothing whether it is on Rákkočearro, Rásttigáisá (Davvi) or on Sørøya in Finnmark. Or on Frøya, on Haramsøya, on Okla/Stadlandet, on Buheii in Agder, in Tysvær, in Bjerkreim, or on Vardafjell in Rogaland, on Kjølberget in Finnskogen or the many other places across the country where they just push through that wind power plant after that others. Wind power must clearly be built regardless of the degree of conflict.

Smaller wind farms go under the radar…

Much of the focus has been on the large wind power developments. These must go through a longer licensing process. The KU regulations set the limit for licensing obligations for wind power plants with an installed output of more than 10 MW. This has led to a new boom in smaller wind turbines that stay below this limit. It can be very easy to overlook the many cases that appear in various places around the municipalities. Such cases very easily go under the radar and often only appear on the mailing lists in the municipality before they come up for treatment, and suddenly they are there. That is precisely how this case was caught. We only find a single entry in the postal journal in Klepp municipality where there is a statement from the State Administrator in Rogaland. We have not found the application from the owner of the measure at the municipality, but we have a demand for access to the documents that the municipality has sent to the State Administrator for a decision. We will update this matter as soon as we receive them.

The map attached to the application for "farm windmills" at Orrevatnet nature reserve, Klepp municipality, Rogaland.

The height of madness..?

In its “Statement on proposals for new renewable energy sources, Reve Kompost AS” the State Administrator in Rogaland writes the following about the plans;

"We advise against the use of farm windmills. The area at Reve og Orre is one of the most bird-rich in the country, where the measure area itself is an IBA area (Important Bird Area) with a high density of birds, in addition to the Orrevatnet nature reserve being located on the east side and the Jærstrendene landscape conservation area on the west side of the property. Both of these wetland areas are protected RAMSAR areas. Furthermore, there is a narrow migration corridor with large volumes of birds, including numbers of red-listed species, through the narrow land area between Lake Orrevatnet and the sea. Against this background, we consider that the area is one of the most conflicted in Rogaland for the deployment of wind turbines."

This is also where Stavanger Museum has the Revtangen ornithological station, just a stone's throw away. Orrevatnet and Revtangen are among the most important and bird-rich coastal and wetland areas in the whole country. A number of bird species nest here. Autumn and the spring migration are a spectacle, where you can experience large numbers of birds of most species on their way to and from their nesting and wintering areas. In addition, there are tens of thousands of birds that winter in this area, and it is also well visited by a number of species of birds of prey. Here you will find perhaps a greater species richness and number of birds and red-listed species throughout the year than anywhere else in Norway. And it is precisely here, close by, and sandwiched between the Orrevatnet nature reserve and the important Revtangen on the Jærkysten marine conservation area, that Reve Compost has had the brilliant idea to set up its "farm windmills". Or call them "compost mills for birds".

Three turbines of the model Solid SWP25-16TV20 have been selected. These have a hub height of 18 metres, and a total height of 26 metres. Each turbine has a swept area of 200 m2 and together the three turbines have a total swept area of 600 m2.

The state administrator in Rogaland has written a detailed statement on the matter, and has discussed the areas of conflict in detail. This is worth reading (linked below).

Wintering bird - Orrevatnet nature reserve, Klepp municipality, Rogaland - photo: NMF

Important to follow..

This is not a unique case, but something that pops up in several municipalities across the country. It is very important that people must keep an eye on post journals and case lists at the municipalities. Feel free to call the municipal administration, councilor or mayor in your municipality. If there are other such cases, it is important that they are caught as early as possible. Spread the news and talk to others in your local environment, and tip your nature conservation organization and/or forward the information to us at the Norwegian Environment Protection Association. It is important that we get involved in the processes as early as possible, but it is often you who are out in the local environment who hear about such matters first and should check regularly with your municipality.

Feel free to send tips about such or other environmental matters to nmf[a]

And the farm windmills at Lake Orrevatnet..

We have not yet seen that this application has been up for consideration by the municipality, but we are actively investigating it and will update this page when we get some more information about developments. It is completely hair-raising and unacceptable to place wind turbines in such an important bird area as this, or in another area with other environmental and natural values. Reve Kompost AS can only scrap and compost these plans right away. Here they will meet great opposition.


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