April 6, 2001—The Swedish government granted a license Thursday to the Scandinavian power company Eurowind AB to build an 86-MW off-shore wind power plant at Lillgrund about 8 kilometers from Sweden’s southwest coast.

When complete, it will be the largest offshore wind plant in the world.

The plant will consist of 48 1.5-MW wind turbines. It is expected to produce 300 million kWh of electricity per year, or about 15% of the electricity needs of the nearby town of Malmo.

The permit requires Eurowind to ensure that marine currents, as well as coastal bird and fish populations are not disrupted.

Construction is expected to begin in November of this year. The first turbines are expected to be online by 2002 and the entire plant will be online by 2003.

Eurowind AB is half owned by the Norwegian company Fred Olsen Renewables AB and half owned by the Luxemburg investment firm Inventus. Eurowind is awaiting permits for wind power projects in France and Italy as well.

A 25-MW offshore project in France is in the advanced planning stages and the company is hoping to receive the necessary permits by the end of the year. In Italy, the company is looking to develop a 100-MW offshore plant in the next few years.