Sigtuna harnesses the wind.

In Sigtuna, wind energy already covers a significant proportion of electricity consumption. This will increase even further in late 2012/early 2013 when production at Fallåsberget in Ockelbo, where the Municipality owns ten wind turbines, comes on stream.

Christer Sandberg gives an account of the Municipality’s experience of wind power investment. He is the retired Assistant Chief Executive, but still acts as a consultant specialising in areas such as wind power, which is something of a speciality of his.

This will be Sigtuna’s third wind turbine. Why wind power?
To be precise, the wind turbine at Fallåsberget is the second owned by the Municipality. The third one belongs to the local authority housing company, Sigtunahem. There are two very strong reasons for our interest in wind energy. The first and most obvious is the environment, and the second is the financial benefit. All the energy purchased by the Municipality must be green, i.e. from renewable energy sources. Owning the source of production also gives us better control over our finances.

What was your approach to the procurement?
We bought the first wind turbine second-hand in 2008. So this is the first regular procurement we have been involved in. But naturally, the experience we had gained form the first wind power deal helped us in the procurement. Above all, we made sure that we sought the help of a professional and reliable supplier with a high level of service.
For purely practical reasons, the procurement was carried out in two stages. Firstly, we invited companies to submit tenders. Four companies expressed an interest, and we could then start the actual tendering process.

How did you assess the tenders?
We placed a great deal of weight on the wind measurements and the analyses of these measurements in the tenders. We brought in an independent appraised the figures in the tenders to ensure that they were credible and came up to expectations. This is an area where the Municipality does not have its own experts.

Another important issue for us was the standard of the tendering company’s management and service organisation.  We collected references and looked particularly for a company with a service organisation within reasonable distance of the plant. This is something that our first wind turbine had taught us – the importance of professional management and top-quality service!

And has OX2 lived up to your expectations?

Yes, OX2 met all our targets. They had used masts to carry out detailed wind measurements over 12 months, they had production calculations drawn up by an independent party and they clearly had an efficient operations organisation which could be on-site rapidly. Furthermore, OX2’s references confirmed the image of a company able to provide high-quality service and management. Finally, after taking cost into consideration, we decided to accept OX2’s tender for the wind turbine in Ockelbo.

Do you have any recommendations for other municipalities considering wind power?

I’m not sure that it counts as a recommendation, but we believe that our approach to the procurement worked really well. We invited tenders in accordance with the Utilities Act instead of applying the provisions of the Public Procurement Act. This meant that we had a negotiated procurement, which gave us the opportunity to discuss and negotiate with the potential contractors. This had a huge impact on the overall quality. All the parties really benefitted from the discussions, and I’m very happy with this approach!

Finally – what proportion of electricity consumption in Sigtuna do you cover with wind power?
The Municipality uses around 21,000 MWh at present and, when our new wind turbine is commissioned, we estimate that more than half of the electricity consumed will come from wind power. Our calculations suggest 12,500 MWh”, says Christer Sandberg

Data:
• The Municipality of Sigtuna has around 41,000 residents. Sigtuna is located in the north of Stockholm County
• The Municipality uses around 21,000 MWh of electricity a year
• The wind turbine is a Siemens 2.3 MW with a total height of 149.9 metres
• The wind turbine produces 7,500 MWh per year
• In operation, the wind turbine helps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 6,000 tonnes per year
• The Fallåsberget wind farm consists of ten turbines, situated to the west of ????? in the Municipality of Ockelbo, Gävleborg.

To find out more about the project, please visit www.ox2.com.

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