Monday, October 11, 2021

Two Norway Wind Farms Lose Licence In Landmark Ruling Over Indigenous Rights

Norway's Petroleum and Energy Ministry proceed with a 288 megawatt (MW) Storheia Wind Park, which is part of Europe’s Largest Onshore Wind Power Project being developed by the Fosen Vind Consortium. The Group, owned by TroenderEnergi, Statkraft and the Nordic Wind Power Consortium, built Six Wind Farms, with combined capacity of 1,057 MW at a cost of 11 Billion Crowns ($1.26 Billion).

Norway's Supreme Court stripped Two Wind Farms of their Operating Licences, on Monday, in a Case that could boost the Legal Rights of the Country's Indigenous Sami People.

Reindeer Herders, in Norway, argue the Sight and Sound of Wind Turbines frighten Animals grazing nearby, and thus Jeopardise age-old Traditions, and that Land should Not be Expropriated for such Projects.

The Supreme Court Case centred on whether the Construction of Turbines, at Storheia and Roan in the Fosen Region of Central Norway, part of a $1.3 Billion Development, that is Europe's Largest Onshore Wind Farm, had Interfered with Sami Herders' Cultural Rights under International Conventions. "A grand chamber of the supreme court unanimously found an interference with this right, and ruled the wind power licence and the expropriation decision invalid," the Court said in its Ruling.

But, it did Not say what should happen next to the Facilities, but a Lawyer representing the Herders said the Verdict means the 151 Wind Turbines should be Dismantled. "Our starting point is that these two wind farms are illegal and have to be taken down," Knut Helge Hurum of the Fend Law Firm said. "We are awaiting contact from the owners of the wind farm to see what they have to say about this."

Fosen Vind Developed both Sites and remains the Main Owner of Storheia. Fosen Vind is owned by Statkraft, TroenderEnergi and Nordic Wind Power DA, a Consortium of Energy Infrastructure Partners and Swiss Power Firm BKW.

The Court's Decision came as a Surprise, Fosen Vind said in a Statement, adding it would await a Response from the Energy Ministry before making further Comment.

The Ministry said it was Studying the Verdict. "We'll have to come back to how this case should be handled," an Energy Ministry Spokesperson said.

The Verdict could also affect other Projects, Hurum of the Fend Law Firm said. "It will have quite an impact on later developments inside the Sami reindeer area. It's certainly relevant for other wind farms, but also for mines and other big development projects, big roads for example," he said.

The Roan Wind Farm is now a Separate Company, Roan Vind, is owned by TroenderEnergi, Stadtwerke Muenchen, and Nordic Wind Power.

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