Saaremaa residents expect wind farms to bring in investments and new jobs

An offshore wind farm (photo is illustrative).
An offshore wind farm (photo is illustrative). Source: United Nations Photo/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The state has established a region near the coast of Saaremaa, where potential wind farms could be developed and the residents of Estonia's biggest island have started thinking of ways to profit from the wind farms themselves, hoping for investments to ports and new jobs.

There should be a major wind farm off the coast of Saaremaa in around a decade, which could significantly affect the economy of the island. The wind farms need a service station, a suitable port and the cable connecting the farm to the mainland needs to be placed on the island, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Thursday.

"We think the range is 100+ people in the service station. These are actual jobs. If this service station is in Roomassaare or Kuressaare, there will be all kinds of support services, which we would not do - welding, painting, renovations. All this will likely be new and that 100 could even be multiplied by three for the workload a wind farm of this magnitude requires," Saare Wind Energy board member Kuido Kartau said.

The issue of the so-called turbine tax has also now been solved and Saaremaa municipality could see millions added to its budget for hosting the wind farm in the future.

"The Ministry of Justice had its doubts, but they have been solved now. And we have a permit from the justice ministry, albeit with a few notes. I think we will take these notes into consideration and will move on with the bill. The Riigikogu can hopefully discuss the turbine tax law in the first half of 2022," said Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications energy deputy chancellor Timo Tatar.

The economic affairs ministry also supports the idea of a 330 kW powerline being drawn to Saaremaa.

"We at the ministry certainly support the idea that since we have these wind farms here on coastal areas, the main 330 kW network should come here and chase them, which means we should seriously consider bringing that 330 kW powerline to Saaremaa," Tatar said.

And locals could become the repairmen and technicians, if it is planned ahead of time. "I like to think that in 2028-2029, when the first wind farm is up on our coast, ships built by Saaremaa shipbuilders from our schools will exit Roomassaare Port, carrying service technicians who will go and do whatever is needed at the wind farms," said Saare development center manager Rainer Paenurk.


Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!

Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

Hea lugeja, näeme et kasutate vanemat brauseri versiooni või vähelevinud brauserit.

Parema ja terviklikuma kasutajakogemuse tagamiseks soovitame alla laadida uusim versioon mõnest meie toetatud brauserist: