Estonia to auction competing proposals for wind farm building permits
Minister of Economic Affairs Riina Sikkut sent a draft decree to the ministries for approval that establishes a framework for auctions of offshore wind farm building licenses.
"Estonia has taken decisive steps in developing both onshore and offshore wind energy production. The favorable market conditions for such investments have spiked companies' interest, resulting in a high demand for locations suitable for offshore wind farms, with multiple applications pending for a single site. In these circumstances, it is best to hold auctions in order to award sites on clear and transparent terms and to ensure that the most appropriate developer is chosen for each location, as it is in the best interests of the state for these offshore wind farms to become operational as soon as possible," Sikkut said.
Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority (TTJA) has received roughly 30 applications for building permits for sites suitable for offshore wind farms, the majority of which are for the same locations. To continue forward, the government regulations should delineate the criteria for selecting among them.
Kristi Talving, director general of the TTJA, said that the Authority is now reviewing applications for building permits, and following the disclosure of opinions, they will be publishing them in the official journal Ametlikud Teadaanded (Official Announcements). "Interested parties then have 60 days to compete for the same site and submit their own applications," Talving explained.
According to the proposal, the TTJA will evaluate building permit applications primarily on the basis of the Estonian Marine Spatial Plan, while also taking regional maritime spatial plans into consideration.
Building permit applications that meet all of the requirements will be then auctioned off. According to the minister's proposal, its beginning price would depend on the purpose and size of the competing site: €25,000 per square kilometer for offshore wind farms and €12,500 per square kilometer for other structures. For instance, the initial price for a 1,000-megawatt offshore wind farm covering approximately 200 square kilometers would be €5 million.
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Editor: Kristina Kersa