Development work

The first step in a successful establishment is to conduct a thorough analysis of the wind power conditions. Experience gained from operational wind farms, ongoing construction and applications provides a strong foundation for future projects. The following sections describe the various phases involved, from preplanning to commissioning.

Preplanning, planning

In the preplanning phase, basic prerequisites are analyzed, such as wind conditions based on wind maps, opposing interests, ground conditions, the feasibility of grid connections and so forth. Most of Sweden’s municipalities have established wind-power plans, which indicate areas that may be appropriate for establishing wind-power production. Leaseholds are signed with land owners, which are subject to the condition that wind measurements and other analyses in the next phase remain positive.

In the planning phase, wind measurements begin and the consultation process is initiated with the authorities, organizations and individuals affected by the establishment. This is when an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is prepared, which is submitted to the relevant authority together with the application. An EIA describes the direct and indirect impact of wind power on natural and cultural environments, recreational amenities and public health.

Application

Wind farm applications that are to be assessed under the Environmental Code are submitted to the County Administrative Board where the Environmental Protection Department formulates a decision-making proposal for the operation.  The County Administrative Board’s environmental testing delegation subsequently reaches a decision. In order for the County Administrative Board to assess an application and decide whether or not to issue a permit, the project must be approved by the municipality. If the municipality rejects the application, the County Administrative Board must also reject the application. This is usually referred to as a municipal veto. Wind farms that are assessed under the Swedish Planning and Building Act are submitted to the relevant municipality for assessment.

Authorization

When all permits have been granted and gained legal force, the focus is on the procurement of turbines, other engineering, electrical and contracting work, as well as financing. Electricity connection agreements are also reached with various grid companies. The wind measurements are thoroughly analyzed, which provides the basis for investment and profitability calculations.

Construction

This phase begins with preparatory work on land and the construction of roads. Contractors are appointed for earthworks, while turbine suppliers are responsible for the assembly and commissioning of wind turbines. Electricity connections are made by the electricity companies that own the adjacent networks and are paid for by Rabbalshede Kraft.

Operation

A service and maintenance plan is established for each turbine and operational monitoring is performed remotely by both the supplier and Rabbalshede Kraft. The Company’s internal operational and maintenance organization is considered a core strategic competency and establishes processes certified in accordance with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. The aim is to achieve higher operational reliability and availability than the turbine manufacturers are able to offer in their service agreements. Along with the Company’s suppliers, the operational organization is also responsible for the facilities from which Rabbalshede Kraft and its partners jointly manage the wind farms. Töftedalsfjället is the first example of this type of facility.