Within ten years, the northern municipality of Piteå will be able to showcase Europe’s largest land-based wind farm. The Markbygden wind farm, with its planned 1101 wind power turbines, will be the largest of its kind in Europe with an estimated annual production of as much as 12 TWh.
The Markbygden wind farm is a project entirely in the spirit of the environment. Among other things, the wind farm will account for a large part of the electricity needed to power the green facilities for battery production and fossil-free steel production that are being built in the northern region. Namely, Europe’s largest factory for the production of lithium-ion batteries, as well as Hybrit, which will be the world’s first plant for the production of fossil-free steel.
The land-based wind farm in Markbygden, just outside of central Piteå, obviously plays a crucial role in the Swedish energy transition.
It is highly probable that most of the electricity to be produced in Markbygden will be used outside of the Norrbotten region, as part of the Swedish electricity mix. Therefore, it is crucial that there is a robust backbone network that can transport electricity to the southern part of Sweden. This is one of many important issues that Svevind, who initiated the project 20 years ago, is now working on together with Svenska kraftnät, the public entity and owner of the Swedish power grid.
Developing at breakneck speed
Svevind has so far designed and planned for the project to take place in three stages, comprising between 300 and 400 wind turbines in each stage. At the time of writing, almost 400 turbines have already been built. The investment total for the entire park is over SEK 70 billion.
The actual project has taken over two decades to plan, but the construction itself is going at breakneck speed. In the first sub-project of the first stage, almost 80 wind turbines were built in less than two years.
The last stage of the first project is now being completed, and the two remaining stages have already begun simultaneously. Swedish and international interests are mixed as project owners in addition to Swedish Enercon also features a German company, Luxcara.
A total of 700 km road to be built
It is not only the Swedish energy mix that is strengthened through the construction of the Markbygden wind farm. A total of 700 km land-based road will also be built in the sparsely populated area around Piteå because of the project. In addition, thousands of jobs are created during the construction period, and new establishment opportunities for companies arise.
The area is best conceivable for the construction of a wind farm of this size, as it is mainly sparsely populated and largely consists of woodlands with few opposing interests. And – the energy potential in Markbygden corresponds to almost the entire Luleälven hydropower production. The area is about 450 square kilometers, which is more than twice as large as the entire city of Stockholm in comparison.
An important milestone
The development of Markbygden is a milestone in the history of Norrbotten and the rest of Sweden. The realisation of the Markbygden wind farm is a major and important contribution to Sweden being able to achieve its environmental goals, including being completely fossil-free, within a couple of decades.