Aquila Group – Midtfjellet wind park
On the top of the mountain Midtfjellet in Norway stands Midtfjellet wind park. For Midtfjellet, environmental sustainability goes hand in hand with social sustainability.
The investment in numbers
- 55 wind turbines situated at the park
- 433 GWh producing enough electricity for 25,000 households every year
- EUR 1.8 million annual contribution to the local community
Midtfjellet Vindkraft AS is an energy company that operates Midtfjellet wind park in Fitjar municipality in southwest Norway. Aquila Group, an investment and asset development company headquartered in Hamburg, Germany with a strong focus on sustainability acquired Midtfjellet wind park in 2015 and expanded its capacity in 2017. The wind park consists of 55 wind turbines. They collectively produce around 433.7 GWh p.a., which is enough electricity to supply around 25,000 households or about 80,000 inhabitants.
Midtfjellet Vindkraft AS is firmly rooted in the local community.
The wind power plant at Midtfjellet is an important source of income for the municipality with 3,100 inhabitants. It generates around NOK 20 million of annual contributions – or around EUR 1,8 million – in the form of property tax, income tax, sponsorship funds, rental of buildings and more.
In addition, Midtfjellet contributes to the local community through the funding of activities for school orchestras, sports clubs, local churches, schools and kindergartens, theatre groups and seniors’ centres. Total sponsorship of the local community amounts to around NOK 400,000 annually, which is equivalent to around EUR 35,000.
Being a long-term oriented business with an environmental focus, it is also important for Midtfjellet to make use of local services and business partners in Fitjar and the surrounding areas and to inspire future generations to explore renewable energy technologies. Midtfjellet has therefore granted the local university access to the Midtfjellet wind farm for their scientific work.
Lastly, Midtfjellet organises the Midtfjellet Day together with the local sports club every year. It features a range of cultural and sporting activities and brings together people from all over the area.
For these efforts, Midtfjellet received the Corporate Sustainability Award from the Renewables Norway (Fornybar Norge) association’s (formerly Norwegian Wind Energy Association NORWEA) membership award in 2022. The award recognises a member that has excelled in positive community involvement, for example through social or environmental sustainability.
The jury emphasised: “At Midtfjellet, past and future meet in a spectacular way. The landscape is wild and beautiful at the same time as it houses the production of clean and renewable energy.
The wind power plant is a popular destination: for cycling, downhill skiing, skiing, fishing and hiking tours for families. The surroundings with the fantastic turbines make the whole experience unique and special.
Since the start in 2011, about 17,000 visitors have participated in guided tours in the area. There have been people from nursing homes, kindergartens, schools, universities and other institutions as well as companies and politicians.”
Through its work, Midtfjellet wind park has shown that it is possible to combine profitable renewable energy generation with local business, jobs and activity for the local community.
Clean energy through sustainable development
To reach its climate goals, Norway depends on renewable power. Midtfjellet contributes to this aim through its production of green, renewable energy from the mountain winds.
Midtfjellet has been developed with the objective to ensure that the landscape can be reconstructed, should the wind park close at some point in the future. Midtfjellet aims to be able to pass it on to the next generation in at least as good a condition as they received it. For this reason, Midtfjellet has designed the facility as forward-looking as possible, so that it induces the smallest possible footprint. The team has stored electronic data showing the exact topography of the area before installation of the turbines began. These data can be used to restore the landscape down to the smallest detail.
Midtfjellet also works diligently on its impact on human rights and decent working conditions in accordance with the Norwegian Transparency Act. For this purpose, Midtfjellet has adopted a new Code of Conduct and a Code of Conduct for Business Partners. In these documents, Midtfjellet underlines the high ethical standard it wishes to promote. Additionally, Midtfjellet has implemented due diligence assessments as well as screenings and the company requests in-depth information from potential suppliers in sectors at risk.
Enjoying the nature outdoors is an essential part of the Norwegian way of life. Midtfjellet is passionately promoting the beautiful nature in the Fitjar mountains among others for tourists. Against this background, Midtfjellet wind park has improved the infrastructure leading up to the Midtfjellet mountain and made it easier for people to access the beautiful areas – be it on foot, in a wheelchair, with a pram or by other means.
Long-term sustainability focus
For Aquila Group, sustainability has been at the centre of the company’s value system since 2006 and is an integral part of its investment strategies, processes and management of assets. By investing in clean energy and sustainable infrastructure on behalf of its clients, Aquila Group contributes to the global energy transition and strengthens the world’s infrastructure backbone.
The mission of Aquila Group is to become one of the world’s leading sustainable investment and development companies for essential assets by 2030, whereby essential assets include anything related to expanding or renovating the world’s low-carbon infrastructure. To show commitment to this mission, Aquila Group set a group wide goal to avoid 1.5 bn tonnes of CO2-equivalents (CO2e) by 2035 in the lifetime of the company’s portfolio. This is equivalent to 4% of 2021 CO2e worldwide emissions.