The permit application for the Davvi wind farm is under review by the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), and to ensure local presence, the majority owner of the wind farm, the energy company St1, has hired Ørjan Larssen from Lebesby municipality as the community contact for the project.
«Ørjan has proven to be the perfect person for such a role. He has a genuine commitment to his local community and wants an open and honest dialogue about the municipality's future. He has great integrity and asks the right questions,» says Lillian Aasheim, Communications Manager at St1 Norway. She herself has experience from what was once Norway's largest industrial development on land, the Ormen Lange land facility in Aukra municipality. Now, this experience is being used to ensure that the residents of Lebesby municipality receive good support and the opportunity for influence.
«We saw in Aukra municipality how important it was to be involved and engaged in the overall process and how essential the daily dialogue was between the major industrial player and all those who were involved and affected in the local community. This is a critical role for us to continue a good, open, and mutually beneficial dialogue in the times to come,» she emphasizes.
Ørjan has proven to be the perfect person for such a role. He has a genuine commitment to his local community and wants an open and honest dialogue about the municipality's future. He has great integrity and asks the right questions
Ørjan Larssen (42) is married to Cathrine Sandvær Larssen and has two children. The family lives in Kjøllefjord. When Ørjan was hired and was setting up his office, he was clear that it would be better to have a mobile office rather than a permanent one in Kjøllefjord.
«Lebesby municipality is vast in its geographical extent, so the idea of a mobile office is to be able to move between Kjøllefjord, which is the municipal center, and Lebesby and Kunes, which are closest to the wind farm's planned area. This is an excellent solution that will facilitate good discussions and create visibility in the villages,» he explains.
From October, the office caravan can be seen around the municipality, with Ørjan as a regular presence, with his commitment and an invitation to dialogue.
«As a local patriot, I am concerned about the future of small communities in Finnmark. When such a fantastic project as the Davvi wind farm 'knocks on the door,' I believe this can be a before-and-after situation for Lebesby municipality and the entire region! It is also incredibly exciting to work for such a large and serious corporation,» he says.
Ørjan does not hide the fact that working for a project that also generates a lot of debate was something he had to reflect on.
«Yes, I was a bit concerned about reactions from friends and acquaintances before I got started. But I am very pleasantly surprised so far. Having respect for each other and being able to distinguish between the issue and the person is incredibly important. The reactions I have received so far are mostly positive. Many people greatly appreciate getting information about the Davvi wind farm, and it is especially fun to have meetings with local businesses that see the opportunities this can provide. But I also have many good conversations with those who are not so positively inclined,» says Ørjan.
Among the challenges he highlights is reaching an agreement with the reindeer husbandry industry, but he has great confidence that coexistence and a dialogue about how to address challenges are possible.
«We need more power in the coming years, both in terms of supply security and industrial development, and we believe that the Davvi wind farm is a good project that can coexist with reindeer husbandry in this area. The size of the influence area is largely the same regardless of the size of the wind farm, and the impact assessment conducted by Multiconsult shows that this is one of Norway's best areas in terms of consequences for biodiversity and coexistence with reindeer husbandry. Therefore, I think it would be advantageous for all parties å to go for a project like Davvi rather than building several smaller wind farms, which would mean a much larger overall intervention,» he concludes.
As a local patriot, I am concerned about the future of small communities in Finnmark. When such a fantastic project as the Davvi wind farm 'knocks on the door,' I believe this can be a before-and-after situation for Lebesby municipality and the entire region.