Reindeer in the Storheia wind farm in Norway
Photo: HEIKO JUNGE / AFP
In Norway, the Supreme Court has invalidated the operating license for two wind farms due to disregard for the rights of indigenous people.
The wind farms in Storheia and Roan in central Norway impaired the cultural rights of the Sami people and violate international conventions, the court ruled.
The construction of the wind turbines and the associated expropriations are therefore invalid.
The Sami had argued that the sight and sound of wind turbines frightened their reindeer herds and threatened centuries-old traditions.
The court left open what should now be done with the wind farms.
A Sami attorney said the ruling meant the 151 wind turbines would have to be dismantled.
"Our position is that these two wind farms are illegal and must be closed," said lawyer Knut Helge Hurum.
The wind farms in Storheia and Roan are part of Europe's largest land-based wind energy project, which has a volume of 1.12 billion euros.
The developer of the wind turbines, Fosen Vind, was surprised at the verdict.
The company said it intends to wait for the Ministry of Energy to comment before commenting on the verdict.
Fosen Vind owns the majority of the Storheia wind farm.
The company is partly owned by Statkraft, TroenderEnergi and Nordic Wind Power DA.
In addition to a consortium for energy infrastructure, the Swiss energy company BKW is also involved in the wind farm.
The wind farm in Roan is operated by Roan Vind.
This company belongs to Stadtwerke München, TroenderEnergie and Nordic Wind Power.
The judgment could also have consequences for other projects, said lawyer Hurum.
“That will have an impact on later developments within the Sami reindeer area.
It is certainly relevant for other wind farms, but also for mines and other large development projects, such as road construction. "
ssu / Reuters