Gallery: Long-stalled Aidu wind farm development is underway

Arrival of the blades at Aidu wind farm, 13.09.2023.
Arrival of the blades at Aidu wind farm, 13.09.2023. Source: Rene Kundla/ERR

There will be up to 85-meter-long road trains on the Tallinn-Narva mnt at night for four weeks due to construction at the Aidu wind farm. Their transportation may cause temporary traffic delays.

The construction of a wind farm in Aidu, Ida-Viru County, which had been halted for several years as a result of legal disputes, gains momentum.

This week, the Danish company Vestas started transporting 4.5-megawatt wind turbines from Paldiski to Aidu. The 15 wind turbines have a price tag of €95,6 million. The costs will be covered by a bank loan and support from German investors.

"The route runs in northern Estonia via Paldiski mnt, Tallinn ring road and Narva mnt to Aidu-Liiva. The longest road train with turbine blades is up to 85 meters. For road users, the movement of the extra-long train will lead to short-term traffic delays. Over the next four weeks, the transport will be carried out during late evening and night time, in order to minimize disruption to regular traffic," Kai Simson, the head of the communications department of the Transport Administration, said.

The developers anticipate having 15 new wind turbines with a total capacity of nearly 70 megawatts operational by the start of the new year.

"The first wind turbine should be up in three weeks and if there are no strong winds to impede the installation, the wind farm should be operational by the end of the year, or at latest, in the first half of January," Oleg Sõnajalg, the founder of the Aidu wind farm, said.

In contrast to the two 3,3-megawatt Eleon wind turbines constructed in Estonia on the former Aidu oil shale field site, the height parameters of the Vestas wind turbines comply with the Ministry of Defense's height restrictions. The Eleon wind turbines are currently under construction restrictions until next summer.

Developers of the Aidu wind farm have applied to the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority (TTJA) for permission to put up the Eleon wind turbines concurrently with the new wind turbines.

"As of today, these terms are still being negotiated," Priit Pallu, the head of the construction and railways department at the TTJA, said.

Lüganuse Rural Municipality Mayor Marja-Liisa Veiser hoped that the developer could continue installing turbines when the defense forces waived height restrictions, as municipalities receive wind turbines fees.

Wind farms may contain up to 30 wind turbines.

"Building permits are valid until June next year, during which time at least 12 wind turbines should be set up. After that, and once the Ministry of Defense restrictions are lifted, new building permits will have to be obtained," Veiser explained.

Sõnajalg said that it is still an open question, whether and when the additional 17 wind turbines of the Aidu wind farm will be erected.

Due to various past disputes, there are currently only one and a half wind turbines in the wind farm, and these are not operational.

The Estonian Ministry of Defense is building a new aerial surveillance radar at the top of the former mine in Ida-Viru County. Once the radar is operational, the region will be open for the construction of wind farms.

The present aerial surveillance radar at Kellavere, Lääne-Viru County, gained attention after a dispute between the Ministry of Defense and the Sõnajalg brothers, owners of Roheline Elekter AS. According to the ministry, the wind turbines that the Sõnajalg brothers were planning to construct would have impeded the operation of the radar.

After the Defense Forces relocate the surveillance radar at the end of 2024, the development of wind farms in Aidu and elsewhere in Ida-Viru County will become easier; namely, once it is up and running, the height restrictions on the wind turbines in north-east Estonia, including Aidu, will be lifted.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Kristina Kersa

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