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How local cooperation has made Sdr. Bork Windpark possible

A repowering project powered by locals, the newly inaugurated Sdr. Bork Windpark is a great example of how co-ownership can make local green transitions a benificial exercise for everyone involved.

Photo: Tony Brøchner

Last week Sdr. Bork Windpark was inaugurated on the Danish west coast. Here, 19 production turbines from the late ’90s have been replaced with 5 modern Vestas V162 wind turbines of 6.2 MW each. The project has increased the annual electricity production from 23 million kWh to 120 million kWh.

Since its inception in 2013, this repowering project has been characterized by great local commitment and co-ownership.

It is you who deserve the praise for paving the way for our current leading position in the world. It is you who make it possible for us to have the world’s highest share of wind energy in the electricity grid. You are the real climate heroes in Denmark.

These are the words Kristian Jensen, CEO of Green Power Denmark, said after he cut the red ribbon on a windy and rainy Friday. The words were aimed at the local forces behind the wind farm, their many business partners, suppliers, politicians and curious citizens who had gathered in a field near the village of Sdr. Bork.

Many of the shareholders in Sdr. Bork Vind K/S, which is the cooperative behind the wind farm, also owned the original 19 turbines, including multiple local landowners. Several of the board members have contributed actively to the repowering project and have been a strong link to the local population.

Sdr. Bork Vind K/S has by far been the largest workplace in the local area for the past several months, but unfortunately, nothing lasts forever. It has been an educational and time-consuming process, and it is impressive that the wind turbines are already in operation after a construction process of nine months. Claus Sommer Thomsen, chairman of the board Sdr. Bork Vind K/S.

The preparatory analyses of the wind turbines’ environmental impact were completed in the spring of 2021, and the final municipal approval was initiated after the summer holidays. On 22 December 2022, the wind turbines were connected to the grid.

 

Supplied by Vestas

Vestas has been the total supplier on the repowering project at Sdr. Bork. It is the first project in Denmark with Vestas’ EnVentus wind turbines, where the nacelle structure is designed to ensure better logistics and flexibility in transport.

We have been involved from start to finish in the project, and have handled all tasks within the design, procurement and installation of the wind farm. Going forward, we will use the wind turbines to test our latest technology close to our factories and development departments in the area. The inauguration of the turbines is the culmination of good cooperation with the developers, Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality and the many local suppliers on the repowering project. Thomas Kirk Jepsen, Senior Vice President for Global Construction Management at Vestas.

The five new onshore wind turbines at Sdr. Bork has been approved by the Danish Energy Agency as test turbines. The project thus supports Ringkøbing-Skjerns Municipality’s objective to create opportunities for the development and testing of wind energy.

 

Support from the local community

Since the autumn of 2020, Momentum Energy Group, which owned two of the older wind turbines and today oversees the development of over 20 wind and solar projects in Denmark, has been responsible for the project management of setting up the five new wind turbines at Sdr. Bork.

There has been good cooperation between Momentum Energy Group and the board of trustees in Sdr. Bork Vind K/S, which has given the company the clear advantage that we have been able to benefit from knowledge about both local conditions on the one hand and critical conditions about contracts, documentation, risk management and technical solutions on the other. Michael Shalmi, chairman of the board of Momentum Energy Group.

It’s great that we have local landowners who take such an initiative. Sdr. Bork was approved with 29 out of 29 votes in the city council. We have had very few complaints, and this also illustrates how the project has been carried out with the greatest responsibility, and how much support there has been in the surrounding community. Ole Nyholm Knudsen, chairman of the Technology and Environment Committee in Ringkøbing – Skjern Municipality.

Citizens who live close to the wind turbines have been offered to buy shares equivalent to 10 per cent of the project.

Source: Green Power Denmark

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