Press release dated 19 August 2014

In February, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) recommended issuing a licence for the development of Sauland Power Plant. However, they recommended that the power plant's production should be approximately 35 GWh lower than the amount Sauland kraftverk AS applied for.

‘We must admit that NVE’s recommendation contained significantly tougher terms than we had expected. At the same time, the NVE pointed out a number of environmental challenges that we have continued to address,' says chair of the board Finn Werner Bekken.

Stream intake omitted from application
As a result of this work, Sauland Power Plant has now suggested its own changes to the development proposal awaiting final consideration by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (OED).

'We suggest removing the stream intakes in Øvre Skorva and Kjempa/Vesleåa, out of consideration for instance to the vegetation and trout population. This will also give more water in Hjartdøla river and Omnesfossen waterfall,' says Bekken.

Good conditions for freshwater pearl mussels
An important condition for developing Sauland Power Plant is ensuring good living conditions for the occurrence of freshwater pearl mussels in Hjartdøla river. This summer, Norconsult has carried out environmental studies of freshwater pearl mussels and trout. Young trout are the host fish for the mussels during their larva phase. Norconsult suggests several mitigation measures, including increasing the minimum flow to some degree. With these measures, Norconsult believes it should be possible to secure a viable population of freshwater pearl mussels.

Minimum flow
By taking out the two stream intakes and increasing the minimum flow requirements, the production of the power plant will be reduced by approx. 20 GWh. The NVE recommends that the intakes at Grovaråa and Nedre Skorva also be taken out, but Bekken wants to keep these.

'These intakes are important to bring the power plant to fruition. It is inexpensive to extend, but it will give a significant contribution to the production. We believe that the release of minimum flow into these side streams will secure the landscape and environmental assets there. We would also like to keep the minimum flow requirement in the Omnesfossen waterfall and are also considering suggesting an increase to this.'

Important for reaching national target
If the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (OED) grants a licence by the end of this autumn, the development of Sauland Power Plant could begin in 2016 and be completed at the earliest in 2019.

Sauland Power Plant will be an important contributor to increasing the proportion of renewable energy, so that Norway can fulfil its international climate obligations. The goal for 2020, is that Norway and Sweden together increase their power production based on renewable resources by 26.4 TWh.

The owner company Sauland kraftverk AS is owned by Skagerak Kraft (67%), Notodden Energi (16.2%), Hjartdal Municipality (14.35%) and local landowners (2.45%).

For more information, contact:
Chair of the board Finn Werner Bekken, telephone: (+47) 977 41 800