10 September 2002 – Alstom has successfully connected one of Europe’s largest windfarms to the grid. Smøla Windpark, in Norway was officially opened on September 5 by His Majesty King Harald of Norway.

The windfarm, owned by Norwegian energy producer Statkraft, contains 20 x 2 MW windmills and will generate 120 GWh per year, equivalent to the consumption of 6000 Norwegian households.

Alstom designed a full turnkey solution for connecting the windfarm to the grid, consisting of a 22kV/145kV step-up substation, containing a 75MVA transformer, a six-bay 24kV medium-voltage switchgear unit, a capacitor bank and accompanying protection and control equipment. The transformer substation is controlled remotely by Norwegian utility Nord More Energiverk.

This first phase of the windfarm was completed in 11 months and, in addition to Alstom’s part, involved the erection of 20 wind turbines and the construction of eight kilometres of internal roads and 11.5 km of overhead power lines.

It is planned to add 55 windmills to the site, giving a total capacity of around 150 GWh per year. However, at this, it is not certain whether this second phase will go ahead, owing to the uncertainty surrounding windpower subsidies in Norway.

The project is one of many windfarm grid connections carried out in recent years by Alstom, which offers customers a complete solution, from initial design through to successful inauguration.