As part of the GREBE Project meeting in June, the Norwegian partner, Narvik Science Park, organised visits to hydropower installations and wind parks, as well as meetings with companies operating in the renewable energy sector in Norway.
The first meeting was held with Dag Smedbold of Statkraft (https://www.statkraft.com/). Statkraft is a leading company in hydropower internationally and Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy. The Group produces hydropower, wind power, gas-fired power and district heating and is a global player in energy market operations. Statkraft has 3800 employees in more than 20 countries. Dag outlined their development and the leading role they play in renewable energy in Norway and in Europe, particulary in the hydro sector.
Following our meeting with Statkraft, we met with Matthew Homola of Nordkraft (http://www.nordkraft.no/). Nordkraft is an energy group focusing on the development, development, production and distribution of all natural renewable energy. The group also has interests in power sales and other energy-related businesses. The renewable energy production comes from magazine power plants, small hydro and wind power. The distribution network covers Narvik Municipality, as well as wall in Evenes Municipality.
The group’s history dates back to 1913, when the first power plant was put into operation in Håkvik valley in Narvik municipality. It has mainly been public or publicly-owned owners all the time, except for some years in the 2000s when Danish E2 / Dong Energy were owners. As a result of this came the wind power initiative.
Matthew brought us Nygårdsfjellet wind farm, which was acquired by Fortum along with two other wind power projects in late 2016. Nordkraft continue to manage and operate this project. This wind farm consists of 14 turbines with a total capacity of 32,2MW. Windmills have an installed capacity of 2,3MW each. The entry of Nygårdsfjellet wind farm was done in two stages. The first 3 turbines were put into operation in 2006 and the last 11 in 2011. Average annual production is 105GWh, corresponding to normal consumption of about 5200 Norwegian households.
Our last visit was to Nordkrafts first power plant in Håkvik valley. Fred Johansen of Narvik Science Park outlined the history of the development of this hydropower plant and the development of renewable energy in northern Norway.
The GREBE project partners are holding their sixth partner meeting this week in Narvik, Norway. The Western Development Commission and the Norwegian partners Narvik Science Park have been working together to prepare a programme to fit in as much as possible.
During the first part of our partner meeting we discussed our activities since our meeting in Finland in February and progress on rolling out our Entrepreneur Enabler Scheme to the partner regions, and plans for the next six months. Discussions are taking place on other work package activities including the development of our online funding options decision making tool, our Virtual Energy Ideas Hub and the development of a Renewable Energy Resource Assessment Toolkit. Tomorrow (Thursday) we will visits to Statkraft, Nordkraft, Fortum Wind Park and meetings with some other SMEs in the Narvik area. We will have details of our activities in future blog posts and our next e-zine.
TARGET is a NPA-project designed to enhance the capacity of manufacturing companies to innovate and embrace new technologies – making regional manufacturing globally competitive. Partners of the TARGET Project were recently in Narvik to discuss how to deliver state-of-the-art technological supports to local businesses in the NPA-regions. This time, in collaboration with the GREBE project partner – Narvik Science Park at the Technology Festival of Northern Norway (TINN). Partners concluded that renewable energy (GREBE) and digitalization (TARGET) represent two key factors in the global market competition.
Bulding regional competencies
Manufacturing in the NPA region has many important strengths. These include regional and niche specific competencies that are world leading in specific sectors unique to the region. However, the majority of manufacturing companies are predominately small in size and face considerable challenges like geographical isolation from major markets and a lack of the benefits offered by more populous and urbanised economic urban clusters. When combined with global trends that see a shift in manufacturing to lower cost and developing economics with rapid advances in new technologies, this means that support measures are needed to strengthen the manufacturing sector.
TARGETs Partners are:
South West College, Northern Ireland (Lead Partner)
UiT – The Arctic University, Campus Narvik – Norway
Centria University of Applied Sciences, Finland
Luleå University of Technology, Sweden
Cavan Innovation and Technology Centre, Ireland
Local Enterprise Offices Cavan and Sligo, Ireland
A collaborated competence platform
The focus area in the TARGET- project is to provide a toolbox to facilitate manufacturing companies´ application of innovation and embracing new processes and practices such as virtual and parametric design and simulation, reverse planning, modelling and 3D printing, remote monitoring and programming of NC machines and robots, 3D measurements, application of digital data and vision based quality assurance. Coupling these with key market analysis skills such as trending, testing and integrating products into a whole cycle of service delivery will build the competitive advantage and value of manufacturing firms. The key is to converge all of these technologies to produce an integrated, automated and highly efficient manufacturing environment – putting the knowledge economy into manufacturing.
The TARGET project will develop supports to build future global competitiveness of NPA region manufacturers giving them a new influx of innovation, technology and novel processes. This will open up new and promising opportunities and reduce the competitive and knowledge gap through the introduction of new processes, techniques, knowledge and skill and will demonstrate the benefits to be gained through the application of these supports to position NPA manufacturing industries as world leaders in their sectors and building sustainable competitive advantage.