HOFOR’s Aflandshage project on green electricity for 300,000 households is put on hold. The project will be abandoned completely, unless it proves possible to continue the project in another form in the near future.
During 2023, HOFOR has prepared agreements with suppliers to build the Aflandshage Wind Farm. The preparation has taken place on the basis that establishment permission was granted for the project in November 2022, and the project is ready to be started. However, the establishment permit was withdrawn in July 2023 following complaints about the project.
In the current situation, it has not been possible to obtain sufficient assurance that Aflandshage Windmill Park will receive an establishment permit. Therefore, the investment is put on hold. And initiation of contracts cannot be communicated to our suppliers.
“Aflandshage Wind Farm would be an important step in the green transition with green electricity equivalent to 300,000 households – and especially in light of the fact that this project is one of the few projects that can be realized before 2030,” says Susanne Juhl, chairman of the board of HOFOR.
The complaint about the project primarily concerned the counts of bats. The background for the cancellation of the establishment permit is about when the investigations were to be carried out. The results of the bat studies have no influence on the construction of the turbines and must only be used when the turbines come into operation. This means that there may be times when the turbines are stopped for the sake of bats.
The project had planned to carry out the counts while the turbines were being manufactured and erected and before they were put into operation. But the Energy Complaints Board gave the complainants the right that the counts must take place before an establishment permit can be granted.
The cancellation of the establishment permit has had major consequences for the project. This is because HOFOR must update the project’s environmental impact report, with new consultation and the risk of completely new complaints with a focus on other aspects that may further delay the project. It will thus entail an enormous financial risk for both HOFOR and the Municipality of Copenhagen to initiate the project without the necessary permits.
The uncertainty about the necessary authority permits means that the Copenhagen Citizens’ Representation cannot provide the necessary guarantees for the project, and that the investment in the project is therefore put on hold.
As part of the settlement, HOFOR expects a write-down of approx. 500 million DKK in 2023. The write-down is because the costs for developing the project will have to be recognized in the accounts for 2023. The write-down will reduce HOFOR’s ability to develop other green energy projects.
“The experiences from the Aflandshage project confirm the need to look at the overall authority processes in wind turbine projects. We have experienced stumbling blocks in our project that cause us to put an otherwise ready-and-ready project on hold. A project where the goal is also to protect nature, so that bats and wind turbines can live side by side in our best judgment,” says Susanne Juhl, chairman of the board of HOFOR.
In addition to putting the investment on hold, HOFOR’s board has decided that the possibilities for continuing the project must be mapped.
“We are now putting the investment in the Aflandshage project on hold. The project will be abandoned completely, unless it proves possible to continue the project in another form in the near future ,” says Susanne Juhl, chairman of the board of HOFOR.
Until then, HOFOR expects to continue the ongoing counting of bats in the area, as this is a minimum requirement to regain an establishment permit.
“I would like to thank the authorities who have shown great determination in creating a new way forward for the project. In the same way, I would like to thank our suppliers who have been open to looking at opportunities to realize the project. We want to continue the constructive dialogue,” says Susanne Juhl, chairman of the board of HOFOR.