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Norway okay for wind farms should result in significant cable orders

Norway's oil and energy ministry has granted licenses to build eight wind power farms with a combined 1,300-megawatt capacity in a major boost for wind power development in the Nordic country, an overall project that will require a significant amount of cable.

Reuters reported that the newly licensed wind farms represent a collective investment of US$3.232 billion, "one of the largest investments ever on its mainland." Norway, it noted, gets most of electricity from hydro power plants and has 775 MW of installed wind power. The eight newly approved projects in Norway could contribute up to 3.7 TWh, it said.

The story said that licenses were issued to Norwegian companies SAE Vind DA, Sarepta Energi AS and Zephyr AS, which counts Denmark's Dong Energy as a stakeholder, to develop wind power farms around the city of Trondheim, an area with a power deficit, the Reuters story said. The oil and energy ministry, it noted, has also issued a license to state-owned transmission grid operator Statnett to build a new 420 kV power line to connect the wind farms. Sarepta Energi AS, which is owned by power companies TroenderEnergi and NTE, was described as planning the largest onshore wind farm development in northern Europe.

"Obviously it's a huge project to undertake," Andreas Thon Aasheim of the Norwegian wind power association, NORWEA,, was cited as telling Reuters. "We are talking about 450 turbines and about 200 km of high-voltage lines to be built."

Companies were expected to make the final investment decisions in 2015, and the first wind turbines in the area should be up and running in 2018, Aasheim said.

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