Wind power: NVE signals stricter deadlines for wind farm projects

In a letter sent to all holders of installation licenses for wind farms in Norway, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) informs of certain changes in their case handling of applications relating to extension of commissioning deadlines and MTA plan approval.

Going forward, the deadline for commissioning of wind power projects set out in each individual installation license, will not be extended beyond 31 December 2021. This deadline coincides with the end of the el-certificate regime in Norway. Projects which are not commissioned within the deadline must obtain a new installation license, based on a new round of applications and updated impact studies. In case a project is at an advanced stage of construction, but is delayed due to unforeseen circumstances (force majeure), the NVE may consider extending the commissioning deadline beyond 31 December 2021.

Read more about the information from NVE here (in norwegian).

Before construction of a wind farm is commenced, the NVE must approve a detailed plan / MTA plan for the project. The NVE informs that they will make use of their limited case handling resources in the following priority: 1) follow up of projects under construction, 2) follow up of projects with approved MTA plans where construction shall commence, 3) case handling of detailed plans / MTA plans which have already been submitted to the NVE, 4) case handling of new applications for detailed plan / MTA plan approval. The NVE will not start case handling in category 4 unless the applicant can document that a grid connection agreement is in place and use of land for wind farm purposes has been clarified in accordance with the Planning and Building Act. The NVE does not give any estimates on expected case handling time in category 4, as it will vary based on the number and complexity of cases the NVE is handling from time to time.

In practise, any licensed wind farm project will have a little more than two years to complete planning and construction. Installation license holders must therefore consider whether it is realistic to complete the projects in time, especially projects which have not yet applied for MTA plan approval.