Enefit Green, the renewables subsidiary of state-owned electricity generator Eesti Energia, is looking at a potential wind farm close to Pärnu.
Enefit Green has submitted a request to the Pärnu City Government to initiate a special plan which would then lead to an environmental impact assessment of an area of swampland within 20 kilometers of the town, with a view to a possible wind farm being located there.
Aavo Kärmas, Enefit Green board chair, says this is the third application for an Enefit Green wind farm development project in Estonia the last year.
"In addition to the request for a special plan submitted to the city of Pärnu, there are also applications for a wind farm in Lääne-Nigula municipality, in Lääne County and Saarde municipality, in Pärnu County," Kärmas said, according to ERR's online news in Estonian.
Establishing wind farms in Estonia has not been an easy task so far, Kärmas said.
"Despite the fact that climate policy directs us to cleaner energy production, the last major wind farms were completed here more than seven years ago. If we are to fulfill our future renewable energy goals as a country, the construction of new wind farms is inevitable," added Kärmas.
According to the initial plans, the wind farm is planned to be built near Põlendmaa, at least one kilometer from the nearest dwelling-place.
"We understand that building a wind farm requires the support of the population and we are open to sharing information and answering any questions about the project. We have worked closely with local government during the development planning process and have already met with local communities," Kärmas went on.
"So far, the reception has been encouraging. It is also positive to understand the positive impact of the wind farm on the local economy and the labor market."
Should Pärnu approve the request for the special plan, the next step will be to initiate an environmental impact assessment, which will investigate whether protected species are present in the area, and whether the wind farm and its infrastructure will have an impact on the natural and living environment.
These surveys will last for a total of about three years, during which the local populace will have the opportunity to speak and express their opinions at reguöar intervals.
The results of these studies will ultimately determine whether and under what conditions a wind farm can be established in this area.
Eesti Energia has set itself the strategic goal of reducing the amount of electricity generated by direct burning of oil shale, and increasing the share of cleaner and environmentally friendly renewable energy in its production portfolio.
It plans to reach 45 percent of the total production portfolio by producing electricity from renewable and alternative sources, by 2023.
Enefit Green is a renewable energy subsidiary belonging to the Eesti Energia Group and currently owns 20 wind farms in Estonia and Lithuania, four co-generation plants in Irus, Paide, Valka and Brocen, one hydroelectric power station in Keila-Joa, 36 solar power plants in Estonia and Poland and a pellet-producing plant in Latvia.
The company is one of the largest producers of renewable energy, and the largest producer of wind energy in the region.
Enefit Green purchased a site at Tootsi, earmarked for a wind farm, at auction in February for €51.5 million. It purchased the Nelja Energia renewables company in 2018 for €289 million.
Editor: Andrew Whyte