The government has approved the location for the joint Estonia-Latvian Elwind offshore wind farm project. Following a series of studies to determine the most suitable site for the project, a location west of the Sõrve peninsula in Estonian waters was selected.
In a preliminary study commissioned by the two neighboring countries to identify the most suitable location for the offshore wind farm, different maritime areas were assessed and analyzed. "The sea area west of the Sõrve peninsula was chosen due to the better wind and ice conditions there, in comparison to other areas, and because it is far away from known bird migration routes, as well as the habitats of seals and those of other marine creatures," said Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Riina Sikkut.
The Elwind project aims to generate 700-1,000 Megawatts (MW) of offshore wind capacity in the Estonian and Latvian maritime area. Both countries will be involved in making the necessary preparations for work to begin on the site, after which auctions will be held for construction permits.
In mid-September, Latvia announced plans for a wind farm in the Courland (Kurzeme) area between Liepaja and Ventspils, which is in Latvian waters.
In the next step of the project, the Center for Environmental Investments SA (KIK) is required to submit an application to the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulation Authority (TTJA) for a construction permit. During the building permit application procedure, the TTJA will initiate an environmental impact assessment, with necessary studies commissioned by the KIK.
The Elwind project will be implemented by the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the Latvian Ministry of Economics, the Center for Environmental Investments SA, the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia and the Latvian Transmission System Operator (AST).
Editor: Michael Cole