November 30, 2022

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The level of conflict is expected to be much lower than wind power plants

The level of conflict is expected to be much lower than wind power plants

Hafslund and Magnora expect low local resistance for solar projects that are planned to be built. Land owners who donate the land can receive a share of the income from solar parks.

Solar power plant: The photo shows a solar park at the former Marvel-Monmedy Air Base in eastern France. Hafslund and Magnora want to build solar parks that can produce 1,000 megawatts of solar energy in 2027. A 7 megawatt plant can provide about 6.4 gigawatt-hours of energy per year, enough to cover the consumption of 320 households.
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Hafslund and Magnora recently announced They are building a solar company together.

The company is still in its infancy stage and there is still a lot to be done in order to reach the target of producing 1,000 megawatts of solar energy five years from now. Now it is first about figuring out where the solar projects will be built, and involving the relevant landowners.

“I think many landowners will appreciate a well-known local player, such as Hafslund and Magnora,” says General Manager Erik Sneve at Magnora.

– I think it is very good for Norwegian landowners to have Havslund with us, who are interested in developing solar parks and take responsibility for both their ownership and operation. In the Wind We’ve seen foreign money that doesn’t necessarily have any contact people, and it can’t offer the same benefits that a local player like Hafslund can offer to Norwegian landowners, he says.

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The new solar company, which has yet to be named, will be 40 percent owned by Magnora and 40 percent by Hafslund. The remaining 20 percent is owned by Magnora subsidiary Helios.

The partners have been working for some time to explore the terrain in the southern part of Norway to find good spots.

– Sniff says it’s a little trade secret where we put the shock exactly.

Betting on the Sun: General Manager Eric Snef at Magnura.

He says the solar park will be small compared to the world’s largest projects. It is convenient to build several small parks, but there is still a lot of space to be given – compared to rooftop installations.

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We have identified a few dozen potential projects and are in dialogue with landowners, network companies and municipalities. So we’ve mapped the market really well, and we know where we want to start working, says Sniff.

It’s about finding the right areas, and finding the right landowners, who are willing to partner with us to build solar energy, says Havslund Group Deputy Director Martin S Lundby, responsible for Havslund Solar Investments.

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Land owners can get income from solar gardens

Bjørn Drangsholt, who will become Managing Director of the new company and has extensive experience developing renewable energy projects from Statkraft, among others, says the landowners she is already communicating with are positive about the project.

– I’ve spoken to a number of landowners, including local farmers who have large areas of forest. The level of conflict for a solar park built in the forest is expected to be much lower than for wind power plants, says Drangsholt.

There are no major intrusions into nature. We don’t build big roads, we drive with light vehicles — little four-wheelers — versus having to build big roads to get big wind turbines out, he says.

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Drangsholt and Sneve say that landowners who agree to give up the land will be able to cooperate with Hafslund and Magnora in various ways.

Swedish landowners usually prefer to get a share of the income from solar parks without taking the risk, says Sniff.

We believe that this model will work in Norway, but Havslund will be able to play an important role in providing alternative development models for Norwegian landowners.

Drangsholt explains that it’s about renting areas, not buying them.

– When everything reaches its useful life, we dismantle the factory and return the area to its original condition, he says.

– The owners of the land receive annual compensation, and there we are looking at several models.

Lundby says Hafslund is flexible about agreements with landowners.

– Here it is about entering into a dialogue with the individual landowner. Understand what they care about, he says.

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heading towards the sun

Lundby says the big advantage of developing solar energy is that it takes much less time to develop and build utilities than it does for hydropower.

– Hydropower projects have historically taken ten to twelve years. We need more energy before 2030. And then solar could be an important part of that solution, he says, and notes that the potential in hydropower has already been largely tapped.

If we are to achieve the renewable growth required to ensure Norway reaches the climate goals that have been set, more renewable energy must be built in the future than has been done in recent years, Lundby continues.

– That is why we have set ourselves the goal of developing 1,000 megawatts of solar energy by 2027. The goal of Hafslund, a long-term developer and owner of renewable energy, is to become the owner of as many of these projects as possible. All other things being equal, this development will lead to lower electricity prices than we would have otherwise.

Hafslund’s Executive Vice President Martin S. Lundby is leading Hafslund’s work to create new growth.

Lundby believes that it will be important for anyone who wants to expand solar energy to learn from the processes surrounding wind energy development on Earth.

– It is important that we learn a little from the experiences of wind energy, as we as an industry may not have been good enough to gain local support and local acceptance. I think the premise is better about solar than wind in the first place, because there’s less noise and less visibility, but it’s also about being very focused on this dialogue with landowners and municipalities so that we get support there, he says.

For Hafslund, investing in solar energy comes in addition to working on new hydroelectric projects and looking at the possibilities for developing onshore and offshore wind energy, Lundby says.

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Magnora already has 50 solar projects in Sweden, but it also has a lot of experience in wind energy, and currently has some projects in offshore wind in Sweden and Scotland.

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Sniff thinks that much of the ground wind opposition is complex, but it may also be due to the size of the new wind turbines.

This resistance is not completely transmitted to the sun. These are very low structures, only two meters high, so we can’t see the same kind of resistance, he says.

Magnora has made a gradual shift towards solar power, at the expense of wind, and has an especially strong belief that solar can do well in Norway in the short term. Among other things, Sniff notes that licensing processes are faster and simpler than other renewable sources.

Tax proposals cause uncertainty

It is necessary to start the construction of facilities.

– We want to start quickly. We want to reach agreements with land owners early and have the first license application submitted as quickly as possible. We’re not alone in looking for these areas, so there’s competition to find the best areas and start building, Lundby says.

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The partners have secured financing for the development of the facilities, and Fitzlund has the first right to purchase and build each individual park when fully developed.

Investments will largely depend on whether or not they are profitable, both in physical terms in terms of where the parks are located, but not least the regulatory and tax requirements, says Lundby.

The government submitted last week Proposal to increase the land rent tax on hydropower and introduce the same land rent tax on wind land energyplus a surcharge that starts when the price is over 70 øre/kWh.

Although solar is not mentioned in the proposal, Lundby feels it creates uncertainty about whether there will be tax changes here as well.

We are concerned that high taxes on renewable energy, which we need more now to reach climate targets and conserve energy surplus in Norway, could create challenges. For all investments that will be made in the coming years, all other things being equal, they will be less profitable with higher taxes. Although we don’t see the consequences of solar at the moment, it creates uncertainty around the regulatory aspects, which is a downside for those who will invest large sums in building these facilities, he says.

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