Tvindkraft is running, producing energy, symbolizing courage, determination, unity, care and elbow-grease, symbolizing the fight against nuclear energy and for humanity´s symbiosis with nature.
It all began in 1975. The idea of building the world’s biggest windmill took shape among the teachers at the Schools in Tvind. To control their own heating bill, to supply the schools with cheap, clean and renewable energy and not pollute the atmosphere, and as an argument in the energy debate. The result was a 54 meter tall windmill with a wingspan of 54 meters, by far the biggest windmill in the world at the time.
It was during the years of the energy crisis. The oil producing countries wanted more money for their oil, and in Denmark as well as in other countries the construction of nuclear power plants was on rapid advance. In Denmark we didn´t yet have nuclear power, but the plans of building nuclear power plants were getting ready.
Large parts of the populations in many countries were against it. Everywhere there were protests. By building the windmill we wished to point another way to go. Denmark had had wind power before, so why not again? There was a choice to make between wind and sun. The decision was wind as Tvind is in Western Jutland whether the wind blows more than 300 days a year.
The first sod for the windmill build was cut by 400 people at Tvind on 29th May 1975. They were students and teachers from the schools that were in Tvind that day. A Windmill Team was formed, consisting of students and teachers from Tvind and volunteers. The average age was 21.
Tens of thousands of people flocked to Tvind during the construction of Tvindkraft. Without their advice, encouragement and practical assistance the windmill would not have been. It became Tvind’s windmill and that of all the Danes – a true windmill of the people, and Denmark did not get nuclear power.
The construction of the windmill took three years. Many decisions were made all along. All the time new questions arose. It was pioneer work. Advice was sought from experts, but eventually we ourselves made all decisions together based on our common sense. Extreme care was taken with each and every detail, and nothing left to “let’s just try and see how it goes”.
The build was financed by the teachers at the Schools in Tvind: 6,5 mill Danish kroner – far less than later big windmill projects.
On March 26th, 1978 the windmill started running, not as an experiment but as power plant. Up to 1980 adjustments and improvements were made and since then Tvindkraft has been in operation. And for many years to come it will be running for the benefit of people and the climate.