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Hjort Provides Assistance to Hydropower AS in Obtaining Approval for the Establishment of a New Solar Power Plant

Hjort lawyers Erik Gjævenes and Liv Zimmermann assisted Hydropower AS in obtaining approval for the establishment of a new solar power plant that is under construction in Modum municipality.

Hydropower AS is a company that has solar power as its main investment area. Our firm, led by lawyers Erik Gjævenes and Liv Zimmermann provided assistance for the approval regarding the establishment of a new solar power plant which is currently under construction in Modum municipality; Vikersund Solar Park. The facility is being built on land where grass production has been carried out in recent years. In future, the area will be used for grazing sheep, while ground-mounted solar panels will be installed.


The measure has required assessments and permits according to the Planning and Building Act, the Land Act, the Concession Act and the Energy Act. In March 2022, Modum municipality gave permission for the temporary reallocation of fully cultivated land in accordance with Section 9 of the Land Act, but the State Administrator revoked the decision. On behalf of Hydropower, we appealed the State Administrator’s decision and in May 2023 the Norwegian Directorate of Agriculture accepted the appeal so that construction of the plant could be started. In its decision, the Norwegian Directorate of Agriculture emphasized that the measure will contribute to emission-free energy and therefore be beneficial to society. After a concrete assessment, the Directorate of Agriculture further found that even if the solar panels will affect the cultural landscape, the area is located near a built-up area and between a road and a railway. With regard to soil quality, the Norwegian Directorate of Agriculture believed that this would not be negatively affected by grazing being chosen as the type of operation. The duty to farm the land is considered to be fulfilled through combined farming between energy production and grazing for sheep. The area can also be returned to other agricultural operations after the 25 years for which permission has been granted.

Solar power has great potential

We at Hjort wish Hydropower and Ove Helgesen the best of luck with an exciting, innovative and sustainable initiative. It is already rumored that the grass under the solar panels grows faster and is greener than outside the panels, and we think the sheep will thrive with the panels as shelter from sun and rain!