Court rules in favor of Enefit Green in Risti wind farm planning case

Tallinn Circuit Court building on Pärnu mnt.
Tallinn Circuit Court building on Pärnu mnt. Source:

A court has ruled in favor of state-owned electricity generator Eesti Energia subsidiary Enefit Green, on the planning application for a wind farm in western Estonia, and against the local municipality, which had appealed an earlier court decision, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Tuesday.

The second-tier Tallinn Circuit Court found that Lääne-Nigula Rural Municpality had not correctly completed the requisite detailed plan for the wind farm, at Risti, in Lääne County.

The municipality says it now plans to conclude an out-of-court agreement with Eesti Enefit Green, the subsidiary of the state-owned Eesti Energia, concerning the construction of the wind farm.

Mayor of the rural municipality Aivar Riisalu (Center) says the authority also has not yet completely ruled out applying to the Supreme Court, adding that he hopes an agreement can be reached between the two parties on the more precise parameters of the wind farm.

These details include the height of wind turbines in operation – which would be capped at 300 meters, Riisalu said, noting that excessive heights could be intimidating.

"You would be scared too, if you had 30 Tallinn TV towers in the same place at once. This is not great," Riisalu told AK.

The TV tower is 314 meters tall.

At the same time, he welcomed wind energy and renewables in general.

"In a changed world, I think today, the minds of perhaps the biggest opponents have changed a bit, because the electricity prices that hit us in winter and spring were somewhat of a teachable moment, while Lääne-Nigula has the potential to be an energy-based municipality.

"Since we have the wind, and we have solar, I think that this trend will be more favorable for the energy economy for us in the future," he added.

Enefit Green's head of wind energy Lauri Ulm said that while the maximum height may be stipulated in the plan, this is just that, a maximum, adding it does not follow that turbines of those dimensions will necessarily be erected at Risti.

The company is open to dialogue with the municipality, while the exact number and size of the turbines will become clear during planning stages, Ulm added, putting as a dat for the completion of planning at two years from now, and the wind farm being in full operation at 2027-2028.

The first-tier Tallinn Administrative Court had previously annulled Lääne-Nigula municipality's decision to terminate the pending special plan of the Risti wind farm, finding that it had been done so prematurely.

The municipality appealed at the second-tier circuit court, but this was overruled in the current judgment.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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