Enefit Green takes local authority to court over wind farm planning bar

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State-owned energy group Eesti Energia's renewable subsidiary Enefit Green is taking a local municipality to court over its decision to halt progress on a wind farm development in western Estonia.

Enefit Green wants to construct a large wind farm near Risti, in Lääne County in western Estonia, but the local authority, the Lääne-Nigula municipality, has brought the designated spatial planning procedure for the project to a halt. The council has in the past won similar planning cases, BNS reports.

Neeme Suur, Lääne-Nigula council chair, said he was informed about the legal action by Enefit Green CEO Aavo Karmas during a phone call on Friday, after the matter had already reached the first-tier Tallinn Administrative Court, regional newspaper Lääne Elu reports.

Karmas told Lääne Elu that over the past six months, Enefit Green has been actively seeking opportunities to work together with the municipal government and local residents, to no avail.

Letters sent to the Lääne-Nigula municipal government have attracted negative replies on more than one occasion, he said. "We made a proposal to set up a work group to discuss how high turbines, where, how many, and the model of local benefit."

Karmas says terminating the spatial plan was a premature move on the part of the council, since all necessary surveys had been completed as of that time.

However, the council says a lack of knowledge on how high wind turbines can be put up near Risti was one of the reasons why it terminated the planning procedure.

Neeme Suur also said he was confident the council had acted correctly.

The same municipality won a similar court case earlier, in October  2019, against peat extracting company Kekkila, who had gone to court for a similar reason over canceled plans to extend a peat extraction area.

The case passed up all three tiers of Estonia's court system, with the Supreme Court ultimately ruling in the municipality's favor.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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