Øyfjellet Wind Park will be Norway’s largest wind power installation and will supply local industry with locally produced, renewable energy. The aluminium works in Mosjøen, like much of Nordland’s industry, is founded on access to rich supplies of renewable energy. When the wind park is completed, all the power for the next 15 years will go to the cornerstone industry, Alcoa, in Mosjøen.
Aluminium production requires a great deal of energy and Alcoa consumes around 3.3 TWh every year. The wind power installation will produce 1.2 TWh, which is equivalent to 36% of Alcoa’s annual consumption. This is one reason why the wind park is so important. It will guarantee opportunities for growth and, not least, provide predictability for Alcoa, as the agreement ensures a stable, low energy price.
Access to more renewable energy is required for green industrial development and is crucial to halting the climate crisis. Hydroelectric power has been a mainstay of the Norwegian power system for generations. This is set to continue in the future, but now we need all the renewable energy we can get – wind, water and solar.
Although almost all electricity supplies in Norway are renewable, half of all the energy we use comes from fossil fuels. We also use energy for transport, construction and industry. In 2017, we in Norway used 143 TWh of fossil energy and 133 TWh of renewable energy. If we are to succeed in achieving out climate objectives, and in phasing out coal, oil and gas, we need more wind power for industry and transport.
In recent years, onshore wind power has evolved into a mature technology that is profitable without government subsidies. When Alcoa enters into a long-term power purchasing agreement with Øyfjellet, it is precisely because wind power has become competitive in terms of price.
What is wind power?
Put simply, wind power is the movement of air in the atmosphere that occurs when there is a difference in pressure between bodies of air. Such differences in pressure occur as a result of the force of gravity or the sun’s warming of the Earth’s surface. For example, cold air is heavier than warm air so the force of gravity pulls cold air down, creating high pressure at ground level.
Physics dictates that differences in pressure must be evened out and this occurs by bodies of air circulating from areas with high pressure to areas with low pressure. This movement contains lots of stored energy. This potential energy – wind power – can be harvested by the use of wind turbines such as those in the Øyfjellet Wind Park. The turbines we have at Øyfjellet are advanced technological products, designed to produce the greatest amount of power possible with the least possible environmental impact. This provides a stable, inexhaustible source of energy with which to meet the substantial Norwegian energy demands in an environmentally conscious way – and helps advance the transition to a low emission society.