OFFICIAL OPENING: Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Mr. Terje Søviknes, was present for the official opening Hvaler Energy Park in the beginning of September.

Hvaler Energy Park, an energy-producing recycling centre, was officially opened by the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Søviknes, on September 5th, 2017.

By Mari Kristine Buckholm, September 19th 2017

Norway’s first and only full-scale microgrid

Smart Innovation Norway has been an essential contributor to the pilot project Smart Energi Hvaler, which has promoted production and distribution of renewable energy on the islands of Hvaler. Today, the municipality produces both solar and wind energy.

Two weeks ago, brand new Hvaler Energy Park was officially opened by the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Mr. Terje Søviknes.

He was shown around the facility, which consists of 1200 square metres of solar panels and (currently) one wind turbine and which is a smart energy demonstration site for several research and innovation projects.


Result of EMPOWER

Hvaler Energy Park, with its Microgrid Power Router (MPR) as its heart and brain, is a result of the EU Horizon 2020 project, EMPOWER.

“The EMPOWER project investigates the concept of a local electricity and flexibility market and a platform to manage the exchange of electricity, communication and monetary credit assignment”, explains Dieter Hirdes, Head of Research & Innovation at Smart Innovation Norway and EMPOWER project coordinator.

“The main delivery of EMPOWER is a cloud based ICT platform for local energy markets, based on big data analysis technology and intelligent agents who perform the trading between neighbours or members of a cooperative”, he notes.


First in Norway

Naturally, Hirdes was present during the opening of the new energy park. He presented the status of the EMPOWER project, as well as Hvaler’s as a pilot site.

“The Microgrid Power Router makes this the only microgrid facility in Norway that can go into ‘island mode’ if the local electricity grid goes down. It can run until the grid is back up again, at which point it will automatically switch back to grid-connected mode”, says Hirdes. He adds:

“The facility can run without power from the local grid for six months, from spring to fall”.


Happy minister

After the tour and presentations, Minister Søviknes expressed clearly that he was satisfied with what he had seen and heard.

“This is very exciting! Smart Energi Hvaler, with its energy park, takes part in international networks to apply new competence and results of research, and converts it into commercial products and services for a real market”, he said.

“In the context of the green shift of economy, there must be focus on commercialization and work places, otherwise we will not succeed. But I am sure that the work being done here, opens a lot of possibilities and will help us succeed”, Mr. Søviknes emphasized.

Video : Offisiell åpning av Hvaler Energy Park

The video below shows the Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Søviknes, speaking to the crowd during the opening of Hvaler Energy Park (in Norwegian):


  • Since 2010, Hvaler has developed to be Norway’s most important demonstration site for smart energy solutions.
  • The work is organized through the project Smart Energi Hvaler (SHE), which is a collaboration between Hvaler municipality, Fredrikstad Energi and Smart Innovation Norway.
  • When Hvaler planned to build a new waste management facility, the SEH project group suggested to build a roof on top of the facility with 1200 square meters of solar panels and up to four wind turbines.
  • With the support of ENOVA, Hvaler municipality built the facility, which is Norway’s first and only full-scale microgrid.
  • ENOVA is owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and contributes to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, development of energy and climate technology and a strengthened security of supply.
  • Through the EU Horizon 2020 project, EMPOWER, a Microgrid Power Router (MPR) was built. The MPR makes it possible to run the buildings around the facility in ‘island mode’ whenever the local grid is down.
  • When the error on the local electricity grid is repaired, the MPR will automatically switch back to regular grid connected mode.
  • The technology has huge market potential in Norway, a country of many islands with vulnerable power supply. With self-produced electricity and a battery bank, the microgrid (with the recycling facility and the buildings around) can operate without external power from spring to fall.