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The project will provide yearly income for Høyanger and Sunnfjord municipalities, as well as local value creation in the development and operation of the wind farm. The planned investment is estimated at NOK 3-4 billion, with a total power production of 1 TWh.

“This wind project is unique because the power will be supplied to Hydro Høyanger and other industrial companies in the region. Hydro Høyanger needs more renewable power by 2030 in order to safeguard our aluminium production and the 180 jobs in the local community,” says Head of Primary Production in Hydro, Ola Sæter.

New partnership between industry and renewable companies

The three companies have deep roots in Norway. For 117 years, Hydro has been producing renewable energy for industrial development. Eviny is the largest power producer in Western Norway, owned by Statkraft and municipalities in Vestland county. Zephyr has broad experience in onshore wind development as a publicly owned company. Hydro and Eviny will be long term owners and operators of the project.

“By developing renewable energy at competitive prices, we are safeguarding today’s industrial jobs while paving the ground for new technological developments of climate friendly aluminium production. We want to invest in onshore wind projects where there is local support and the power can be used for industrial purposes,” says Sæter.

Sheet ingot at Hydro Høyanger
At Hydro Høyanger, a wide selection sheet ingot dimensions and alloys based on primary metal is produced for the automotive industry in Europe. (Photo: Halvor Molland/Hydro)

“This partnership is about industry and jobs, which is important for us as a local and publicly owned company. The most important thing is the host municipalities get back value from the project. We are now looking forward to a good dialogue with Høyanger and Sunnfjord about the project. Local support is an absolute requirement for the realization of the project. This is very important and we want to adjust the final project based on local needs,” says Executive Director for Renewable Power in Eviny, Olav Osvoll.

Energy deficiency from 2027

Norwegian industry needs more renewable power in the future. According to Statnett, Norway is moving towards a power deficiency from 2027, and more renewable energy is also needed in Høyanger and Sunnfjord. By 2030, Hydro needs to enter into more long term power contracts to cover the consumption of the aluminium smelters in Western Norway. Hydro is given access to renewable energy at competitive prices due to 25 percent of the power Hydro is using coming from wind

“Onshore wind is the most important new energy source, which can provide sufficient volumes at competitive prices in order to develop industry in the coming years,” says Sæter.

A long term power contract from wind produced locally will enable Hydro to secure power to the smelter in Høyanger, while also enabling other industrial projects to be established in the region. Hydro has started building a new recycler in Høyanger. In parallel, Hydro is working on maturing a pilot project for the use of green hydrogen in production. This pilot project is dependent on support from Enova.

“Hydro’s ambition is to cut emissions and decarbonize all our aluminium smelters in Norway. This will require significant investments in zero-emission technologies and new renewable energy. Access to renewable power is an important prerequisite for these investments,” says Sæter.

Local acceptance and cooperation are essential

Hydro, Eviny and Zephyr are now inviting the local community and municipalities in Høyanger and Sunnfjord for a dialogue on development of this project. On April 8, 2022, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy opened the scheme for notifications on new onshore wind projects. Consent from municipalities is a prerequisite. If the municipal councils agree, the process of reviewing and developing the project can start.

There are strict requirements for environmental impact assessments in the licensing process for onshore wind. The municipalities must actively consent to the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) processing a notification about a given project. In the subsequent work on licensing, consequences for biological diversity, climate, landscape, and cultural heritage will be thoroughly mapped and assessed.

The planned project will consist of approximately 50 wind turbines with a total yearly production of approximately 1 TWh. Further development of the project will be based on input from local stakeholders and thorough investigations of technical and environmental conditions.

Facts and key numbers about the project (pdf)

Project facts