The matter reached national political level and the outcome was successful for our client.

The Raudfjell and Kvitfjell Wind farm is operating

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Simonsen Vogt Wiig assisted in one of the most significant transactions within renewable energy in 2017. We still advise on a day-to-day basis in matters relating to the construction of the wind farm. As of August 2019, the first wind turbines in one of the largest land based wind farms in Europe are in operation.

Background

Kvitfjell Wind Farm was granted concession in 2001, whereas the Oil and energy ministry approved the final concession for Raudfjell Wind Farm in 2015.

Simonsen Vogt Wiig advised and assisted Prime Capital AG (a German infrastructure developer) in its financing and widely publicised acquisition of Tromsø Vind AS and Raudfjell Vind AS owning the Kvitfjell and Raudfjell wind power projects (Project Northern Lights). The onshore wind power project with 67 turbines each with an installed effect of 4,2MW and in total 281.4 MW in aggregate, is located near the city of Tromsø in northern Norway.

The project reached financial close in October 2017 and was the largest onshore renewable energy project in Europe at the time it reached financial close in 2017. When finished it will be the third largest wind power project in installed effect to be built in Europe.

Project organisation

Simonsen Vogt Wiig had a key role in the planning, leading and execution of the project and a substantial number of persons from our firm was at all times involved. It was established a project organisation with Mr. Simonsen together with the project leader from Prime Capital AG on top and a matrix organisation there under. Simonsen Vogt Wiig worked as an integrated team with TUV Süd (a German engineering firm).

We developed a new EPC managed structure with Siemens Gamesa as prime responsible for construction, which has never been used before. Siemens Gamesa has later copied this structure and is using it on several other large wind farms they are involved in.

The first power purchase agreement to be backed by the Norwegian export guarantee agency

Simonsen Vogt Wiig assisted in negotiating a long-term power off-take agreement with Alcoa, a leading global aluminium supplier. This is the first Corporate PPA in the Nordic countries with wind power as energy source and with an international industrial company as off-taker. This challenges the monopoly of hydro power producers over the PPA market in Norway up to today, and has paved the road for several new Corporate PPAs being entered into with wind power as energy source and they are all being based on the template we drafted.

It is the first time a PPA was backed by a guarantee from the Norwegian export credit guarantee agency (GIEK) with a rating of AAA. The long-term guarantee scheme was designed, developed and established by our firm and lead partner Peter Aall Simonsen on behalf of the Norwegian Ministry of Trade in 2009 and used for the first time in October 2017 in connection with Project Northern Lights. Several other projects have later copied our approach and secured GIEK-guarantees for their PPAs.

Change of concession

In order for the wind farms to be realized, it was necessary to apply for a controversial change of the concessions involving the change of the access route to the project area. Simonsen Vogt Wiig was involved with all parts of the relationship and dialogue with the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate , the Ministry of Oil and Energy and eventually the Energy Minister at the time, Terje Søviknes. The matter reached national political level and the outcome was successful for our client.

The construction of the wind farm

The construction of the wind farm, or more accurately the construction of the internal roads in the wind farm, started in October 2017.

The turbine transport commenced in July 2019. Three days a week components for two turbines are transported up to the site for interim storage before they are assembled at the actual turbine locations.

The turbines, provided by Siemens Gamesa, use the latest technology that includes direct drive technology and the latest de-icing technology.

In the beginning of September 2019 there are 5 turbines operating in the wind farm delivering renewable green energy to households in and nearby Tromsø.

Simonsen Vogt Wiig is still hands on, and involved in the process handling matters on a daily basis.