Fiskebåt (Fishing Boat) has complained to the Norwegian Government in regards to the extended deadline for offshore wind farm at Havsul I.
Fiskebåt’s Head of Department, Espen Jacobsen says that much has happened in 12 years and the impact assessment that formed the basis for the original license must be considered outdated on a number of points.
“It was already in June 2008 that NVE granted a license for the Havsul I wind turbine just off the coast of Mørek. The plan was to build and operate an offshore wind turbine with a total installed capacity of 350 MW in what is now Ålesund and Aukra municipality. The decision was appealed, and the OED upheld NVE’s decision in a letter of 10.09.2009 with some minor changes to the network connection to the plant,” says Fiskebåt.
In the complaint, Fiskebåt indicates that much has happened in the 12 years after the license was granted. Among other things, it was then indicated that the region needed more electric power. This problem has now been resolved as a result of a new supply line. However, the most important point of concern from the Fishing Boat is that not enough consideration has been given to the fishing interests throughout the process.
Important spawning grounds
It is pointed out that the establishment of the Havsul I wind power plant is intended to be located in an important spawning and growing area for Norwegian spring spawning herring. Norwegian spring spawning herring is a stock that Norway manages and harvests in collaboration with other nations. Norway therefore has a special responsibility in this context to ensure that the population does not suffer damage, by destroying or distorting important spawning and growing areas. It is also important not to expose important spawning and growing areas to negative environmental impacts that endanger the population’s ability to reproduce.
“The consideration of the fisheries must therefore be given heavy weight, which we do not believe was the case when the original license for the Havsul I wind turbine was granted,” says Espen Jacobsen.
Furthermore, it is pointed out that the knowledge base around sea winds is deficient. It is pointed out that the installation of particularly bottom-mounted wind turbines will swirl the bottom sediments and create a lot of noise.
“It is known that installations of wind turbines in the sea change local conditions locally, but the consequences of such changes are less known. Observations show that such changes can cause sediment buildup around wind turbines and change in ocean currents, says Jacobsen.
In addition to noise during construction, wind turbines in operation will emit noise to the surrounding water masses. There is little research into how such noise affects sea life around wind turbines. The fishing boat assumes that such research exists before any development begins, the complaint states.
Fishing boats also indicate that the establishment of wind power plants will also result in emissions of environmentally harmful toxins such as oil and plastic (microplastics from the plant’s construction due to wear and tear). The fishing boat therefore expects all offshore development to follow a precautionary perspective.