The total costs of the proposed Tootsi wind farm could come to around €200 million, according to a spokesperson for state-owned electricity generator Eesti Energia green subsidiary, Enefit Green.
Aavo Kärmas, Enefit Green board chair, told commercial radio channel Kuku Raadio current affairs show "Nädala tegija" that while Eesti Energia purchased the 160-hectare plot at an auction organized by (state) forestry commission RMK Tuesday for €51.5 million, the final cost for constructing a wind farm at Tootsi, in southwestern Estonia, could be four times as high.
"It is true that the final cost will be known when all the procurements have been made again," Kärmas said.
"Eesti Energia has been developing this project since 2010, with the most recent procurements being made three to four years ago. The price of various technologies has changed a lot over that time, but the final cost could be in the order of €200 million, which is the total investment," he added.
Up to 49 percent of Enefit Green's stake could go potentially to auction, Kärmas said, noting the government still backs this in principle.
"We have not thrown our plans for a public auction. Unfortunately, I cannot speak in detail, although I realize that interest is high," he said, adding that when the company can make an announcement, it will do so to everyone at once.
While Eesti Energia paid €51.5 million for the plot, seeing of three other bidders in the process, the land was originally valued at €4 million, and had a starting price of €12 million at Tuesday's auction. As a renewable energy project and in line with Estonia and the EU's climate change goals, the project will be eligible for subsidies.
Kärmas said that the fact that other bidders took part in the auction (two of whom were Lithuanian companies-ed.) was evidence that the final price was a fair one.
Editor: Andrew Whyte