Most houses in the small village of Kølby in rural northern Jutland were very hard or impossible to sell when Vattenfall started to show interest in the area. The company plans to construct the 37 turbine wind farm Nørrekær Enge II there.
Instead of launching into time consuming discussions with the property owners in Kølby as part of the consent process, Vattenfall decided to offer them to buy their estate at market prices
Mette Kjær Hulsrøj Korsager, Head of onshore project development in Denmark, explains the strategy: "By doing this we solve the problem of unsellable properties in the area. It also enables us to enter into agreements with local authorities since our presence contributes to the development of a marginalised area."
Vattenfall plans to acquire 20 properties in Kølby but the company has no intention of entering the farming business. "The houses will be demolished and the land will be sold to local farmers," says Korsager.
By 2018-2019 Vattenfall aims at having installed 250 MW of new wind capacity in Denmark. According to Korsager. the strategy of buying property will ease the fulfilment of this goal.
"We prefer to establish larger project like Nørrekær Enge II. By buying property we do not have to take critical residents into account the same way as before."
Vattenfall's initiative has been welcomed by both the Danish Wind Industry Association and the Association of local governments.
Facts Nørrekær Enge II
Nørrekær Enge II will consist of 37 turbines and will be Denmark's largest onshore wind farm. The wind turbines will be up to 150 metres high and will have a maximum capacity of 3 to 3.3 MW. Nørrekær Enge II will generate enough electricity to power 100,000 homes.
Vattenfall's is the biggest owner and generator of onshore wind power in Denmark.