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New powerplant to be built in Norway

9/04/2024, 12:33
New powerplant to be built in Norway
Visualization of the Gravdalen power plant that will be built inside the mountain (Image: Hywer)
Hilde Wexels Riser Hilde Wexels Riser
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In 2023, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) gave the green light for the construction of the Gravdalen power plant in Lærdal municipality. Now Østfold Energi has decided to proceed with the project, and initial work is already underway.

“We are pleased to finally get started with Gravdalen, which we have had in the pipeline for many years. There are not many new hydropower projects in Norway, so it is important for us to contribute where we can,” says Oddmund Kroken, CEO of Østfold Energi.

Major Investment

The Gravdalen power plant will utilize the 330-meter drop between the Kvevotni regulation reservoir and the stream intake in Gravdalen valley. The power plant will have an estimated annual production of 60 GWh and an installed capacity of 15.5 MW.

The development is an extension of the company’s regulation facilities connected to the Borgund power plant. The Borgund system has a catchment area of 404 square kilometers and seven reservoirs.

A total construction cost of up to 500 million Norwegian kroner is estimated. This will thus be Østfold Energi’s largest single investment since 2010.

The project was first granted a license in 2015, but low and falling power prices made profitability challenging. Gravdalen has since been through an application for plan changes, which was processed and decided in the spring of 2023.

“Higher long-term power prices, combined with the new cash flow tax, contribute to us just managing to make the development viable economically. This shows how important predictable framework conditions are for a long-term industry like ours,” says Kroken.

Sustainability Pilot

The development contributes to realizing the company’s strategic goal of expanding renewable energy by 150 GWh by 2027. In addition, the development will mean increased local value creation in Lærdal municipality and have little impact on the external environment.

The power plant will be built inside the mountain, and the project is defined as a sustainability pilot. Among other things, an electric tunnel boring machine (TBM) will contribute to a significant CO₂ reduction in the construction project compared to conventional tunnel drilling.

The project takes place deep in the mountains, in challenging terrain, and HSE has the highest priority. The power plant will also be built in an area where wild reindeer are to be reestablished after being shot out following an outbreak of chronic wasting disease. This window, where the reindeer are temporarily absent, allows the project to be realized without disturbing the animals.

The translation was written by an AI system, though the original text was authored by a human.

#nve #Østfold energi