Ilmatar submits application for 450MW Swedish PV project

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Ilmatar has a number of PV projects underway in Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia. Image: Ilmatar.

Finnish energy company Ilmatar plans to build a 450MW solar PV project in the county of Halland, southwest Sweden.

Ilmatar submitted environmental applications for the Tönnersjö solar farm to the Halland County authorities this week, a move which pushed the company past the 1GW threshold for project applications submitted in Sweden. In June last year, the company announced plans for a 350MW project in Central Sweden and the previous September it committed to a 550MW project in the southeast of the country.

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The Tönnersjö project is proposed on 450 hectares of mostly plantation forest land, which is ready for harvesting, Ilmatar said. In a public statement the company said: “Areas with high nature values have been excluded from the project plan. In areas like this, with limited nature values, establishing solar energy production can, with suitable measures, even support biodiversity and local ecosystems.”

In the initial stages of the project, Ilmatar signed a land lease agreement with Silvestica Green Forest, the owner of the forest land where the plant is proposed.

Christian Gustafsson, country director for Ilmatar in Sweden said: “In just two years in Sweden, Ilmatar has contributed to significant shifts in the Swedish renewable energy landscape. Next to none of our ongoing projects are planned on agricultural land. The focus is mainly on areas with low nature values.”

He continued: “We are ready for substantial development, merely awaiting permits and gird connections.”

Last October, Swedish independent power producer (IPP) Alight and French renewables company Neoen began construction on a 100MW PV plant in southeastern Sweden. Once operational, they claimed it would be the “largest” PV site on the Swedish grid. If they were to reach commercial operations, Ilmatar’s three planned projects in the country would all dwarf this site.

Southern Sweden is served by the SE4 electricity area, one of four bidding areas running from SE1 in the north to SE4 in the south. According to the Swedish electricity system operator Svenska kraftnät: “In northern Sweden more electricity is produced than is needed, in southern Sweden it is the opposite.” Hence, a number of the significant solar PV project announcements in Sweden have been in the south of the country, where demand – and power prices – are highest.

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