All agreed loans

Norway. Sunnfjord Energi AS

Date of loan: 26 Apr 2016
Country: Norway
Customer: Sunnfjord Energi AS
Amount in NOK: NOK 130 million
Amount in EUR: EUR 14.1 million
NACE sector / loan type: Production and distribution of electricity
Business area: Energy and environment

Project

The loan has been provided for strengthening existing electricity lines, installing new electrical substations and automatic electricity meters, and refurbishing a hydropower plant.

The investment in networks will increase the security of supply while reducing both network losses and operational costs. The investment will also allow up to 400 GWh of new renewable electricity production to connect to the national grid, mostly from small hydropower plants.

The project will finance the purchase and installation of automatic electricity meters to centralise Norway’s electricity market data to improve efficiency and transparency. The rollout is scheduled for completion by 1 January 2019.

The Øvre Svultingen hydropower plant is located in Høyanger municipality in Sogn og Fjordane county. The refurbished plant was commissioned in April 2015, and production has since increased to 31 GWh annually from the previous 26.6 GWh. The plant has received a new water intake gate and grate, a refurbished water pipeline and a new 6.3 MW Francis turbine, including a generator and control equipment. The plant was constructed with a 4.3 MW turbine in 1942.

Sunnfjord Energi operates ten hydropower plants with a total capacity of 146 MW and average annual production of 517 GWh. The utility distributes power to 15,000 customers and owns 50.8% of optical fibre cable network company with 14,000 customers. Sunnfjord Energi operates on the west coast between Bergen and Ålesund and has 150 full-time employees.

Fulfilment of NIB's mandate

Competitiveness
The network upgrade will reduce congestion and enable distribution of increased production capacity. This will allow the connection of an additional 400 GWh of renewable energy, mostly from small hydropower stations. This is roughly 0.3% of the total power production in Norway, or 1.5% of the total production in Nord Pool’s NO5 price area.

The installation of smart meters is likely to improve the stability and operational efficiency of the network. There is, however, a lack of evidence on how smart grids can support the stability of networks and how consumers will respond. Economic parameters will not be available until the project has reached operating maturity.

Environment
Smart grids are expected to have a positive long-term impact on energy efficiency, and a cost-benefit analysis conducted by the EU predicts savings of around 3%.

The Øvre Svultingen hydropower plant has almost reached the end of its technical lifetime, and the refurbishment is intended to maintain the existing generation capacity.

Sustainability summary

Sunnfjord Energi has adequate procedures to ensure that the necessary permits are issued prior to project implementation.

Press release

NIB finansierer økt distribusjonskapasitet for Sunnfjord Energi