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Inadequate warning about ice fall on Haramsfjellet

Motvind Norge|October 2, 2022
NorwaySafetyIcingInjury

The Norwegian Directorate of Water Resources and Energy (NVE) is responding to a report of concern related to ice throw from wind turbines on Haramsøya. Now residents fear that the mountain may be closed to traffic for large parts of the winter. After the eight wind turbines on Haramsøya came into operation towards the end of 2021, conservationists have painstakingly documented the consequences. In the summer months, injured and killed birds are counted. During the winter season, ice floe is documented.


Ice throws from wind turbines make it dangerous to travel on Haramsfjellet in winter. 

The Norwegian Directorate of Water Resources and Energy (NVE) is responding to a report of concern related to ice throw from wind turbines on Haramsøya. Now residents fear that the mountain may be closed to traffic for large parts of the winter.

After the eight wind turbines on Haramsøya came into operation towards the end of 2021, conservationists have painstakingly documented the consequences. In the summer months, injured and killed birds are counted. During the winter season, ice throw is documented. In May 2022, No to wind power plants on Haramsøya (NTVH) sent a notice of concern to NVE, the Ministry of Oil and Energy (OED) and the Department of Transport in Møre og Romsdal county, with documentation of nineteen ice-throwing incidents in the period from October 2021 to April 2022. The notice of concern states, among others, that the wind power company has failed to warn about the risk of ice throw, contrary to NVE's requirements. Ice throw from Haram wind power plant is regulated according to permits granted under the Energy Act, and in NVE's approval of the detailed plan and environmental, transport and construction plan (MTA) for Haram wind power plant.

The report of concern states, among other things, that the wind power company has failed to notify of the risk of ice throw, in violation of NVE's requirements.

From an ice throw report from Kjeller Vindteknikk (KVT), which was used as the basis for the approval of MTA[1], the first environmental, transport and construction plan, it appears that the risk of damage is high when driving on internal roads. The danger is greatest for pedestrians who are close to the turbines and along the internal roads. Kjeller Vindteknikk recommends the use of risk-reducing measures. Haram Kraft's own application for an amended MTA and detailed plan confirms that the danger of ice throw is real. According to Haram Kraft itself, the risk of being injured is greatest for service personnel and pedestrians. In NVE's decision on approval of the amended MTA and detailed plan, it is assumed that Haram Kraft must assess the need for further measures beyond warning signs. The licensee must be able to provide documentation that this has been done if someone asks. NVE is now asking Haram Kraft to present this documentation. (The NVE letter can be accessed here).

In reports prepared by KVT, it is stated that the risk on Haramsfjellveien is tolerable, but that the warning should be upgraded with signs that are suitable for warning especially in periods when the danger of ice throw is imminent. KVT points out that signs that only warn of the general risk of ice throw, which Haram Kraft has limited themselves to for the time being, are not sufficient. In the report, the use of a so-called experience acquisition program is recommended. Furthermore, NVE shows Haram Kraft's letter with feedback to the report of concern about ice throwing. Among other things, Norconsult is cited here as writing in an impact assessment report that "traffic on roads that pass close to turbines should be avoided during icing periods". NVE understands that Haram Kraft's measures to achieve this are the general sign which states that "In cold weather, lumps of ice may fall or be thrown from the turbines",

KVT points out that signs that only warn of the general risk of ice throw, which Haram Kraft has limited themselves to for the time being, are not sufficient.

KVT recommends in its report that updated information about the risk of ice floe be posted on the websites of the wind power plant. From what NVE can see, there is only very general information about ice floe on the website of the wind power plant. There is no information related to the conditions in the Haram wind farm specifically. As a result, NVE is asking for an assessment of how the design of the sign and website is intended to work in order to reduce the use of the road in the relevant periods. The assessment must also include an evaluation of whether the sign and the website work as intended.

"We are happy that NVE is finally listening to our concerns, but at the same time we are afraid that this will lead to one of the most important recreational areas on the North Islands often being closed to traffic during the winter months. In any case, it will be a big loss both for people who live here, and everyone who comes here to experience the magnificent nature we have out here," says a worried Anne Grethe Johnsen to Motvind Norge's website. She is part of the group that has gone to the mountains through the winter and carried out work that they believe is not really their responsibility.

"We are happy that NVE is finally listening to our concerns, but at the same time we are afraid that this will lead to one of the most important recreational areas on the Northern Islands often being closed to traffic during the winter months."

"We have stopped people from going up to the mountain plateau, and made them turn around because it has simply been dangerous to walk there because the wind turbines hurl large chunks of ice through the air. We have also gone out and warned people not to go there simply to save lives. We have even had trips where we have experienced that it has been too dangerous to approach the mountain. After seeing large lumps of ice lying on the ground, we have decided to turn back. It is particularly frightening that many people we have met on the mountain have not been aware that large chunks of ice can come whizzing through the air."

"It is extra frightening that many people we have met on the mountain have not been aware that large chunks of ice can come whizzing through the air".

NTVH knows it as a partial victory that NVE will now check whether Haram Kraft complies with the requirements given in the concession relating to ice throwing. "We have repeatedly warned NVE and other authorities and explained that the danger of ice floe is one of the many reasons why Haramsfjellet is unsuitable for wind power plants. Ideally, we would have seen the wind turbines dismantled and transported away from the island, but once they are there we must ensure that they do not harm or, in the worst case, kill anyone," says Lisbeth Austnes, head of No to wind power plants on Haramsøya.

"Ideally, we would have seen the wind turbines dismantled and transported away from the island, but once they are there we have to ensure that they do not harm or, in the worst case, kill anyone," says Lisbeth Austnes, head of No to wind power plants on Haramsøya.

Translation into English using Google Translate


Source:https://motvind.org/manglende…

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