Sõrve residents in Saaremaa vote against wind farms again ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Middelgrunden wind farm (Photo is illustrative)
Middelgrunden wind farm (Photo is illustrative) Source: Kim Hansen/Wikimedia Commons

The council of the rural municipality district of Torgu has unanimously upheld a decision adopted by its predecessor earlier which opposes the establishment of wind farms in the territory of the district, meaning the Sõrve peninsula of Saaremaa.

In the general spatial plan for Saaremaa, Estonia's biggest island, a draft of which was published recently, a potential area for the development of wind farms is shown in the peninsula with 340 meters as the maximum height of turbines, more than anywhere else in Saaremaa, regional newspaper Saarte Hääl reported. 

Mark Grimitliht, municipality architect for Saaremaa, was critical of the stance of the Torgu council.

"I believe that it's not appropriate for Saaremaa to just ignore the European and national targets concerning renewable energy and to silently go on consuming non-environmentally friendly energy produced from oil shale," Grimitliht said.

The general spatial plan however is just a draft at this point, showing potential areas for renewable energy production. The areas lie at a distance of at least 1,000 meters from the nearest dwelling and 2,000 meters from the nearest small town. Also, protected areas and habitats of Class I or II protected species are excluded.

The municipality architect said that the public display and discussion of the general plan are places where a common language could be found with the community over where and on what terms areas for the development of wind farms could be set forth. 

"Whether, for instance, an annual investment by the wind farm developers in public space could bring both sides closer to a goal or not," he said.

However, if the position of the council of the rural municipality district and the predominant majority of Saaremaa residents continues to be negative, this will be taken into account, according to the municipality architect. 

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Editor: Helen Wright

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