The Swedish wind farm Blakliden Fabodberget after a winter break restarts its construction. Vattenfall has resumed the construction of Sweden’s largest onshore wind farm of 353 MW.
Vattenfall takes over work on Sweden’s largest onshore wind farm
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and a winter break, Vattenfall’s largest onshore wind farm is expected to be completed on schedule. Once completed, the wind farm will consist of 84 Vestas 4.2 MW turbines. Started since 2018, the work was to be completed in 2022. When completed, the park is expected to produce enough electricity to power 220,000 Swedish homes per year.
Approximately 60% of the electricity produced by the park will be purchased by Norsk Hydro under a 20-year power supply agreement.
Blakliden Fabodberget Wind Farm in a few figures
This wind farm will be developed in two segments (Blakliden and Fabodberget) with a total of 84 wind turbines. The Blakliden wind farm is currently under construction with 50 turbines in the municipality of Asele. In parallel, Fabodberget will consist of 34 turbines and will extend between Asele and Lycksele. These two parks are then referred to as a single project because they have the same connection point to the electrical grid.
Work planned for 2020 includes:
- the laying of a cable approximately 107 km long
- the completion of 84 crane sites and foundation works
- construction of transformer stations
- the connection of overhead power lines to the site
- the construction of 70 km of road to access the park
The wind turbines chosen for this wind farm
Blakliden Fabodberget will be equipped with V136-4.2 MW wind turbines that will be able to withstand the extreme weather conditions of the region, and generate maximum power in light to medium wind. These wind turbines will measure 66.7 m in length with a maximum chord of 4.1 m.
The financing of Blakliden Fabodberget
Financially, the project was closed in October 2018. The latter was provided by equity and mezzanine debt from PKA and Vattenfall, and senior project finance debt from the Danish Export Credit Agency (EKF). Cooperatieve Rabobank arranged this financing.
A wind farm that adapts to the seasons
Work that stops every winter
Due to the cold weather and deep snow, the construction of the project has to stop every winter for about 5 months.
This stop of the works is also due to an agreement between Vattenfall and the local Sami villages to allow reindeer breeding in the area.
A precious break
For Kristoffer Arnqvist of Vattenfall, who works on the projects:
“During the winter break, all of our time is spent planning for the upcoming construction season. The limited construction time we have makes each season incredibly intense, and everything has to be planned to the last detail to make it all work.”
The consequences of the coronavirus epidemic on the progress of the wind farm
“The Covid-19 outbreak completely changed the conditions of the project. We had to quickly change our plans so that construction could continue, while giving the highest priority to human safety and health.”
In general, between 70 and 120 people work on the site each day. This required coordination and a series of measures to prevent the spread of the infection.
Among the measures taken, visits to the site are prohibited, and presentations and training sessions on the site are done remotely.
“If people need to travel to the construction site, it is done in separate cars. We avoid traveling together as much as possible. We had to install a new cabin next to the existing ones, so that the Vattenfall office was separated from the other operations. We built additional restrooms and a covered outdoor area to help maintain social distance. In addition we have increased the cleaning in the buildings to minimize the spread of the virus”.
Delivery of components for the wind farm
The epidemic also affected the delivery times of components.
“The project schedule depends on the deliveries we had planned, and the skills available at the time. Because of the restrictions, some of the deliveries have been delayed or even completely cancelled. We have to work proactively all the time, change suppliers when needed and plan again to make it work,” said Arnqvist.
He added that the project is “holding up” during the pandemic.
“This is entirely due to the great effort put in every day by those working on the construction. I would like to say a big thank you to all our colleagues on the Blakliden Fabodberget project, our contractors, their subcontractors and suppliers.” (