With a planned area of 63 square kilometres, Davvi wind farm will be a substantial – but at the same time a highly energy efficient – wind power plant. It’s precisely the size of the plant that contributes to less negative consequences for biodiversity per unit of energy produced.
“One concentrated seize of nature is more effective from an energy production point of view and has less negative impacts than many small ones,” begins Svein Skudal Aase, Head of Wind Power at St1 Norway.
The fact that a larger wind farm is more energy efficient requires an explanation, and for the most part, it’s relatively simple. A wind power plant, regardless of its size, will affect the surroundings outside the planning area or so-called “area of influence.”
For each of these facilities, access roads need to be built, and these can influence the natural ecosystem. Also, regardless of the size of the park, the wind turbines will be visible far from the geographic area of the wind farm itself, explains Skudal Aase.
What defines the size of a wind power plant?
Skudal Aase believes that it isn’t primarily the land area that defines the wind farm’s size, but rather what power production you manage to achieve using the same amount of land.
“I think that what primarily determines the size is how many megawatts (MW) the facility delivers,” says Skudal Aase.
“Also, the number of turbines can vary considerably. A single turbine can, for example, generate anything from 3 to 8 MW,” he adds.
Davvi wind park will be a large and energy-efficient wind power plant
Davvi would be considered a large wind farm, both in terms of area and capacity, and regardless of whether it ultimately turns out to have 60 or 166 turbines.
“It’s a sizable area, but it also provides high energy production. We must find the right number of turbines and evaluate which type is most effective given the wind conditions on site. Sometimes it can be beneficial to use smaller turbines because it gives an easier entrance to the area,” says Skudal Aase.
It is of course also economically advantageous to build large scale facilities when they are to be built anyway. The economies of scale are clear, especially where you have good wind resources and with that, a high number of production hours.
“It’s cost effective to build a large wind power plant. The fixed costs go down, so you can produce energy at a lower price which again can attract new industry,” Skudal Aase stresses.