Wind Turbine Co-operatives (Middelgrunden Vindmøllelaug)
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Despite unexceptional wind resources, 22% of Denmark’s total electricity consumption is produced by wind turbines, the highest rate in the world. In Copenhagen a renewable energy infrastructure has been introduced through a unique partnership based on local ownership.
Like every city, Copenhagen faces challenges to wind power: limited space to implement wind energy on a large scale within an urban environment, wind turbines are expensive to build, and there is public resistance to the perceived visual and noise impact of wind turbines in the landscape. The solution was to encourage public support for windpower by creating a community-owned facilities and using local skills.
At the first wind farm at Middelgrunden in Copenhagen harbour specially designed foundations were developed to cope with the ice during severe winters. Accommodation of factors such as tidal movements, wave loading, ice loads, fatigue and the aggressive marine environment on submarine cables were incorporated. Lessons learnt from the successful wind farm have been used to inform subsequent schemes, highlighting how replicable the model is. A key issue was improving the ability of the power grid to accept and balance increased levels of intermittent energy from wind turbines.
The first wind farm at Middelgrunden created a Wind Turbine Cooperative half-owned by the city-owned utility company, with the remaining half of the shares sold to 8,650 members of the local community. Each share represents production of 1000 kWh/year and was sold for € 570.
Based on the Copenhagen Climate Plan, the city-owned utility company plans to build more than 100 new wind turbines by 2025. Locally based cooperatives will be able to invest in the turbines.
Overcome the ’not in my backyard‘ attitude
A Public Awareness Campaign offered demonstration tours of wind turbines to help convince locals that there would be no noise impact from the project. A recent survey among the citizens of Copenhagen indicates widespread popular support.
Visit Middelgrunden wind farm and learn to develop an off-shore wind farm in a densely populated area.
Middelgrunden consists of 20 windmills placed in a concave line with an interval of 180 meters and a total length of 3.4 km. Total acreage of 1hectare.
A tour with Middelgrunden Vindmoellelaug can give information on:
- Dialogue with citizens and authorities
- Environmental considerations
- Experience with construction
- Operation and maintenance etc.
Estimated power produktion is 99,000 Mwh a year.