Wind is an ever-present companion here in the north.
Quite simply, we are given the gift of energy – and one must take advantage of it. My name is Jan Martin Hansen and I am from Braderup. In fact, I am a farmer – but in recent years I have harvested more energy than corn. When I first started thinking about wind power, many people said they thought I was crazy! Braderup is a small village in the far north, between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Our farm has four generations living under one roof. My son takes care of agriculture, and I take care of the wind. We are very exposed to the elements here but I like the harsh climate. When I have wind blowing around my face I am happy! But as farmers we don’t have it easy up here. In the 90s we didn’t know how to make ends meet. We desperately needed a second income. Already at that time, we had installed the first wind turbines in Braderup. But the wind is so changeable here. Often it blew so strong that the network became overloaded. We simply could not feed the electricity. I found this very frustrating. I had a vision: that we – the people of Braderup – would build a wind farm with an energy storage facility. That way, we could save the power in high winds and feed it into the grid when the winds slumped. It wasn’t easy convincing the many doubters. I needed years to do so. In the end however, 200 citizens participated in the wind farm, which was really fantastic. It was only when Bosch entered the project that it became clear to us: we had made it! There it was: we had built an energy storage facility. This hybrid storage system is something special. It is not only one battery, but two. This means we can store energy for both the short and long term. We can allow for fluctuations in wind strength and balance them out optimally. When the wind farm was opened, Braderup saw celebrations like never before! For all of us, this project means one thing: a future. Who knows, perhaps with time, Braderup will become a role-model for all of Europe.