SEV continuously strives to produce as much “green” power as possible. Nevertheless, it is still necessary to expand both the Sund and Vágur power plants, as oil continues to be a necessary source of energy.
Even though SEV has set out on a course toward a green future, harnessing the wind, hydropower and tidal energy, SEV must still rely on oil for the foreseeable future. Oil remains the backup for hydropower and wind. Oil provides a stable and secure supply of power, whenever a sufficient supply from renewable energy sources is not available.
SEV must supply reliable power 24 hours a day, every day. SEV is dedicated to maintaining its green course into the future, however, it is equally important that the large thermal power plants at Sund and Vágur be updated and expanded to meet increasing demand.
“Oil is our backup while we chart our course toward an ever-greener future where all of our energy comes from renewable sources. It will take many years before we are totally free of oil, especially during the summer months when it is close to impossible to produce sufficient power from hydro and wind alone”, says Hákun Djurhuus, CEO of SEV.
The engineering consultancy firm P.A. Pedersen prepared a detailed report on SEV’s current thermal power plants. The report noted that it will be necessary to upgrade and replace many of SEV’s oil-fired motors and related systems because they have reached the end of their useful life. The report also outlined future expansion possibilities.
For the 2014 budget year, SEV set aside DKK 20 million for project planning and analysis relative to the expansion of the Sund power plant. One aspect of the preparation, amongst others, is to analyse and prepare various environmental impact assessments in order to apply for the necessary approvals and construction permits.
The expansion at Sund is expected to cost between DKK 500 and 700 million. Several, additional motors must be installed at the plant, requiring the construction of a new building to house the additional motors. The tank farm needs to be enlarged as well, and a 60 kV coupling station needs to be built.
At the Vágur power plant, expansion costing DKK 80 million has been initiated. A new building to house the new motors will be built, along with other needed out-buildings. In addition, the tank farm will be enlarged. Related gird infrastructure must also be updated with new high-tension equipment and switchgears for close to DKK 12 million.
Varðin Pelagic in Tvøroyri increased the demand for power on Suðuroy significantly, when the company went into production in August 2012. Suðuroy is not linked by undersea electric cable to sources of power on the other islands. As a consequence, expansion is urgent in order to secure a sufficient power supply on Suðuroy well into the future.
“SEV of necessity stands on two legs. We continuously try to increase our production from renewable energy and to carry out research in this area. On the other hand, we cannot ignore the importance of oil, for oil is the foundation upon which we can ensure a stable and secure supply of electricity, which is our mandate and our promise to the Faroese people”, explains Finn Jakobsen, Technical Manager at SEV.