The Danish Energy Agency and national grid operator Energinet have announced land to the north of Nissum Fjord, in the west of the country, will host up to 400 MW of solar generation capacity.
The development was revealed as the two public bodies announced the cables necessary to export power from the 1 GW Thor offshore wind farm, planned to the west in the North Sea, would make landfall at Tuskær. That location is north of the fjord and marks a new development as the cables were previously expected to land to the south.
“This [landfall] decision is primarily based on considerable cost savings to be realized by grid connecting [the wind farm] north of Nissum Fjord, where the planned near-shore substation can serve both the Thor grid connection and up to 400 MW [of] PV-solar installations planned in the area,” the Danish Energy Agency said. “Thus, the substation will serve 1,400 MW [of] installed renewable energy.”
The agency did not reveal any details of the solar projects referred to and said the decision to connect north of the fjord was based on environmental advantages identified by preliminary site investigations and the fact fewer residents and landowners would be affected.
The Thor wind farm is currently being tendered.
The municipality of Holstebro, near the fjord, is reviewing solar project proposals which would occupy 770ha, according to the Folkebladet newspaper. The town government has identified up to six areas for the PV development, according to the newspaper, which also mentioned a 206 MW project to be developed in the Bur area near several wind farms.
A document published by the Danish Business Authority in September stated the 206 MW solar park is being developed by domestic company Better Energy. That plant is expected to cover 222ha of agricultural land – well over half the 380ha the municipality has devoted to solar development. “The area was sown, as a starting point, with organic clover grass and the plan is to host cattle in the area for grazing,” the Danish Business Authority document said.
None of the solar projects under consideration appear to be linked to two renewable energy auctions the Danish government has held in the past two years.
In December 2018, three solar plants with a combined generation capacity of 104 MW were awarded feed-in premium contracts, which top up the wholesale price of energy sold. One of them is in Ringkøbing-Skjern, 40km south of Holstebro, while the other two are planned in Skive, in the Midtjylland region; and Brøndersle, in Nordjylland, in the northernmost part of the Jutland peninsula.
In the auction finalized in December, the Danish Energy Agency selected three PV projects to be developed. A facility in Skive will have a 38.1 MW generation capacity and plants in Brønderslev (26.4 MW) and Ringkøbing Skjern (18.2 MW) were also allocated. A hybrid solar and wind project allocated in the exercise – which has 18.9 MW of solar capacity as part of its overall 44.1 MW – was the only facility allocated in Holstebro.
Unsubsidized large scale solar projects have started to appear in Denmark in recent months. Such plants include a 125 MW scheme under development by Better Energy. That project is expected to supply power to Danish clothing company Bestseller under a power purchase agreement. Better Energy said in May the project would be the first subsidy-free plant in Denmark and the largest by generation capacity.