Government to auction Tootsi wind farm property ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Windfarm.
Windfarm. Source: AFP/SCANPIX

At a cabinet sitting on Thursday, the government decided to instruct the Ministry of the Environment to put the property of the Tootsi wind farm under its control up for sale at an auction.

Margit Martinson, deputy secretary general of the Ministry of the Environment for support services and land policy, said in a press release that the biggest advantage of selling over constituting a right of superficies is that the risk of new court disputes is low. 

Disputes concerning the organization of an auction have been resolved by a court decision that has entered into force.

The government on Dec. 9, 2016, endorsed a decision to increase the share capital of Eesti Energia and hand over to the company the Tootsi plot then valued at €4.1 million as a noncash consideration. In response to the decision, companies submitted complaints to the European Commission and court. On April 28, 2017, the government declared the decision invalid, the Ministry of the Environment said.

On April 27, 2017, the government instructed the Ministry of the Environment to sell the Tootsi wind farm plot at a public auction. AS Eleon, AS Raisner and Tootsi Tuulepark OU then contested the decision in Tallinn Administrative Court.

With a ruling on Nov. 5, 2017, the administrative court granted provisional legal protection that halted the sell-off of properties designated for a large wind farm at Tootsi by state forest manager RMK. RMK was forbidden to organize an auction until the court ruling has entered into force.

The court rulings with which the complaints were dismissed entered into force with rulings of the Supreme Court on Jun. 11 of this year. In the rulings, the courts found that RMK had the right to organize an auction with conditions highlighted in the rulings.

The legal proceedings have therefore been concluded and the Ministry of the Environment is able to continue proceedings with the property. This is why the environment minister asked the government to update the instruction and also consider the option of constituting a right of superficies by way of public auction in addition to selling the Tootsi wind farm property at an auction.

The government at a cabinet sitting on Thursday decided to update the instructions given to the Ministry of the Environment to sell the property of the Tootsi wind farm under its control by way of an auction.

According to the thematic plan, only a wind farm can be established on the property in question. According to an expert assessment given in 2017 and reiterated in 2019, the starting price of the auction of the Tootsi wind farm plot along with VAT is €12.3 million.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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