Offshore Wind Farm outside the Harbour of Copenhagen
Middelgrundens Vindmøllelaug
Offshore Wind Farm outside the Harbour of Copenhagen


Final approval of the turbine park at Middlegrunden Date

On June 24, 1999, the Copenhagen Electricity Services (KB) and Middlegrunden Wind Turbine Co-operative I/S (MV) applied to the Danish Energy Authority for permission to establish a Wind Turbine Co-operative on Øresund. KB and MV announced that it would be a joint-project and that it would appoint SEAS Wind Energy Centre as the manager and technical adviser of the project.

Development of the case:

On June 4, 1997 KB applied to the Danish Energy Authority for a principle approval of the establishment of Middlegrunden Wind Turbine Co-operative on Øresund. The Danish Energy Authority submitted the project proposal to the authorities and interested organisations for hearing/comments in the autumn of 1997. Because of the received comments, which were especially concerned about the visual impact of the project, the parties developed a modified project proposal, which was sent to the authorities and various organisations for consideration in the summer of 1998. At the same time a public hearing was held to discuss the project.On May 21, 1999 the Danish Energy Authority granted the principle approval with several conditions attached and also allowed the commencement of preliminary studies. One of the conditions for the principle approval was e.g. to consult the Swedish authorities in relation to the Espoo-Convention and to conduct an Environmental Impact Evaluation procedure (EIE) together with the related publicity phase.The Swedish authorities submitted their comments with regards to the Espoo-Convention on June 10, 1999. They wanted to participate in the Danish EIE procedure.

Afterwards KB and MV sent the application for the final approval of the project proposal with the attached EIE reviews to the Danish Energy Authority.

On July 24, 1999 the application with the attached EIE reviews from the project applicants was publicly announced and sent to the relevant hearing parties with the response deadline on September 20, 1999. The summary of the received comments and the list with the names of the parties, which took part in this process are enlcosed in a memo.

The EIE hearing required that additional studies be performed. However, the project did not differ significantly from the orginal proposal.

The results of the public hearing together with the reviews and the presented project proposal created foundation for the final assessment of the application by the Danish Energy Authority.

The project was registered in the Municipality of Copenhagen on November 17, 1999 (se the notice no. 304 of May 14, 19991 about noise from wind turbines).

Project formation

The application describes the project as a wind turbine park consisting of 20 wind turbines with a total output of between 33 and 40 MWH and located between 1.4 and 3.5 kms from the coast of Copenhagen. The windmills are arranged arranged as an arch with a circular turn of 3.3 kms. The wind turbine park stretches from turbine no.1 placed at 55° 42,418’north, 12° 40,102’ east to turbine no. 20 placed at 55°40,555’ north, 12°40 103’ east (Coordinate system UTM 32/WGS84).

A single turbine has a hub height of approx. 75 metres and a rotor diameter of about 72 metres, so that the distance from the tip of the wing to the surface of the sea is approx. 111 metres. The choice of the type of turbines and of gravitational foundations or monopiles depends on the offers that we shall receive.

The electricity connection would be carried out in the form of a 30 KVs 40 MVA cable from a KV section at Amagerværket (Amager Power Plant) to a central location at Middlegrunden. We will also set up a communication cable that is either integrated in a 30 KVs cable or arranged in parallel between Amager Power Plant and the wind turbine park for the purposes of protection of the relay and for communication.

KB and MV estimate the total investment to be approx. 364 mill. DKK, of which 334 mill. DKK will be used for the park itself, including the turbines, foundations, internal electricity net and planning. The grid connection between the land and a connection point at Middlegrunden will cost approx. 30 mills. DKK.

KB and MV have agreed on owning 10 turbines each with the possibility that MV can transfer one or more of its turbines to KB, if it does not manage to sell a sufficient number shares.
KB and MV have agreed that KB is responsible for the construction of the wind turbine park. Each party has financial liability for its own part of the windmill park and its functioning. KB and MV each have responsibility for running their own parts of the project.

The project applicants stated:

• that a final approval of the project before the end of 1999 is a prerequisite for the implementation.
• that a EU tender should be held at the beginning of October 1999 with a deadline for bids at the beginning of November 1999.
• that contracts should be signed by mid-December 1999.
• that the construction should start in the first quarter of 2000.
• that tests and start of operations are expected to happen during the last quarter of 2000.The Danish Energy Authority’s approval of a wind turbine park at MiddlegrundenThe Danish Authority of Energy gives its permission that KB and MV establish a wind turbine park at Middlegrunden with reference to § 1 section 6 in the law of electricity supply that is in accordance with the law no. 89 of February 10, 1998. The approval includes a permit to set up a production system and to lay maritime cables.

The Authority states that the project is approved under the condition that the applicants have stated that KB installs, runs and owns a 30 KVs 40 MVA cable, including communications cable, from a 30 KV section at Amager Power Plant to a central point at Middlegrunden.

The Authority gives its consent that KB’s share of the wind turbines at Middlegrunden was in compliance with the Danish Environment and Energy Minister’s guidelines of February 14, 1996 on the establishment of land-based wind turbines in the power supply area

The Authority states that the EIE review for the suggested project consisting of 20 wind turbines at Middlegrunden in Øresund can be approved under the condition that the supplementary studies, which were done after the publishing of EIE reviews, should not contain new information on environmental pollutants, which could give important new arguments against the project.

Based on the EIE review, the following conditions are drawn up for approval:
1. According to the materials sent by the project applicants changes in the cable path should maintain a distance of at least 100 meters from the two points where interesting seismic data had been found.
2. The constructors should perform an analysis of possible influences of sedimentary spreading of the protected nature reserve around Salthom Flak before the construction starts.
3. The constructors should follow the guidelines recommended by the Danish Environmental Authority. They should also perform depositing of excavated bottom soil on the shore. The construction and work methods, which limit spreading of the polluted material to insignificant levels, should be used in the worst polluted positions, where turbine foundations and cable paths are situated.
4. The constructors would negotiate the schedule of the construction work with the Danish Environmental Authority. It would be done in order to conduct the work during the period of time, which is favourable for the effects of sedimentary waste.
5. A monitoring programme for the spreading of eelgrass should be initiated before the construction starts.
6. The construction should not affect fishing without a reason for it.
7. The constructors should negotiate with the industrial fishermen about possible compensation for lost fishing opportunities during and after the construction in relation to § 17 in the law of salt water fishing.
8. The constructors would coordinate the placement of the wind turbines on Middelgrunden with the Defence Command.
9. The constructors might be instructed to pay expenses to set up extra radar, if it is necessary.
10. The constructors might be instructed to pay expenses to place signs for navigation paths and air traffic, if it is necessary.
11. The constructors should negotiate with the coastal inspectors to find a satisfactory solution to secure the cables.
12. Due to s great proximity of the windmill park to the shore the constructors should use oil-free cables to prevent the risk of accompanying pollution.
13. The recommendations of the Danish Environmental Authority on water current should be followed.

Furthermore, the Danish Maritime Authorities have set the following conditions for the execution of the project: before, during and after the establishment of the park.

Before establishment:

14. The Danish Maritime Authorities should request as soon as possible a coordinate list (for example UTM Coordinates) of the two cables paths.
15. The placement of the approved two cable paths and wind turbines should not be changed without prior approval from the authorities.
16. The Danish Maritime Authorities should be given the work specifications with declarations of the work vehicles and obstructions to the navigational path at least 4 or 6 weeks before the work is expected to start.
17. Based on the received proposal information from the owners of the structure or entrepreneurs, negotiations should be held with the Danish Maritime Authority on the traffic security and eventual temporary construction warning signs.
18. Afterwards the Danish Maritime Authority should be kept up to date on changes in schedule or work methods etc.

During establishment:

19. The wind turbines and cables should be placed as precise as possible on the approved plots and paths.
20. There should not be sea depth deterioration during or after the construction without the permission of the Danish Maritime Authority.

After establishment:

21. The Danish Maritime Authority should be notified at once when the construction is completed.
22. The following documents should be sent to the Danish maritime Authority and the Danish Registry Board upon the project completion:
• Drawings and maps in the scale of 1:4000 or better that show the exact placement of the wind turbines and cables. The maps should also identify and describe wreckages and other extraordinary objects observed during the construction.
• Maps that show the water depth around the wind turbines and over/along the cable paths.
• Drawings of the length profile of the cables path showing theie placement with regard to DNN and sea bed in the same scale and in a vertical scale of 1:250.
• Coordinates (UTM or GI-34) for wind turbines and the cables exact position.
23. The Danish Maritime Authority reserves the right to demand that the constructors pay for signs or lights at the turbine park if necessary in accordance with § 4 in notice no. 229 of April 4, 1989 of the Maritime Board
24. The Danish Maritime Board should be notified of possible repairs of the system that can affect the ship traffic in the area.
25. Updated drawings and coordinates should be sent to the Danish Maritime Authority, if maintenance works cause changes in the cable placement or excavation depth.
26. When the system is no longer used for its purpose, it should be promptly removed if no permission has been granted for another use.

The Danish Energy Authority has stipulated the following conditions for approval:
27. The wind turbines type should comply with the present rules for approval and certification.
28. There should be no significant changes to the system without the prior approval from the Danish Energy Authority.
29. The owner is obliged to maintain the system as long as it is in a good and safe condition.
30. This approval does not exempt the owner of the system from civil lawsuits.
31. The owner is obliged to pay for removal of the system or its remnants and even to return the construction area to its former condition provided that:
• The applicant’s permit expires.
• The system is not renovated or destroyed,
• The system is no longer used as a wind turbine park.
• The conditions for the permit are not followed or fulfilled.
32. The Danish Energy Authority can set deadlines for fulfilment of the conditions in points 29 and 31.
33. The owner puts up a sufficient collateral for the fulfillment of points 29, 30 and 31. The Danish Energy Authority has to approve the collateral.
34. If some parts of the park of the whole of it changes the owner, which is other than KB and MV, the new onwer should be approved by the Energy Authority.
35. The Danish Energy Authority can set some other supplementary conditions in the case of new significant environmental or security problems.
36. The approval of the project will not be valid, if it has not been used during 2 years fron this time on.
• The approval does not free owners of the park from possible civil legal responsibility.
• The approval does not provide any guarantee for the safety and stability of the proposed construction.

It should be noted that the approval is forfeited if some of the stated conditions are not met.

This permit should not reduce state’s supremacy on sea territories or the country’s sole rights over exclusive financial zone. The wind turbine owners will be consulted in connection with the official consideration of prospective applications concerning activities relating to the wind turbine park.

Further developments:

The Energy and Environmental Minister should permit use of wind energy on sea territory with regards to §13 section 2 in law no. 375 of June 2002. This permit is expected to last 25 years from now on with possibility for renegotiation for continuous operations of the system.

It is important to remember that the Danish Energy Authority should approve a detailed project before the commencement of construction.

Before the construction starts, the Environmental Authority in the municipality of Copenhagen and the Danish Energy Authority should receive detailed information in accordance with the conditions stated in the EIE procedure.

The Environmental Authority is the environmental approval and supervision body of the project in accordance with the Environmental Protection Law § 27 section 2 as well as in connection with the law of Maritime Environmental Protection notice 975 of December 19, 1986 about the dumping of already used sea bed material.

The Danish Energy Authority maintains the right to demand changes to the system due to security reasons.

It should be noted that chapter 9 on environment friendly electricity production of the new law on electricty provision (law nr. 375 of June 2, 1999) would come into force, when EU grants its approval.

The Danish Environment and Energy Minister has also approved the project which cannot be brought for the consideration by another administrative authority.

The approval is sent to the Copenhagen Electricity Service.


• Evaluation of the received comments to the EIE review on Middelgrunden Wind Turbine Park.
• A summary of the hearing comments in connection with the EIE reviews on Middlegrunden Wind Turbine Park.
• The list of the parties involved in hearing about EIE reviews.