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Estonia's wind farms set record generation output levels on Monday

Wind turbine at Enefit Green's Paldiski wind farm.
Wind turbine at Enefit Green's Paldiski wind farm. Source: Enefit Green

The total output of Estonian wind farms operating during lunchtime on Monday this week totaled 381.6 megawatts (MW), which is an all-time record for Estonia.

January 2024, which saw plenty of windy conditions, has also been the month with the highest electricity generation derived from wind power in Estonia so far.

River Tomera, head of renewables development at grid system operator Elering said: "Over the past year, almost 100 MW of new wind electricity capacities have been added to the grid, a rise of almost 30 percent."

"On January 29, between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m., the peak result of wind energy supplied to the grid was recorded as 381.6 MW, " he went on (link in Estonian).

According to Elering, there will be A total of 420 MW of wind energy will be available as capacity in Estonia by the beginning of 2024, ie. now, Elering had said.

Tomera this means "windier" hours will also have a net positive effect on the exchange price of electricity to the consumer, in the near future. 

"Solar farms, for example, have been installed with a total capacity of 800 MW thus far, and in 2023, for the first time, the exchange price during sunnier hours was 21.1 percent lower than the average," Tomera went on.

As reported by ERR News, in 2023, solar-generated electricity output slightly outstripped wind energy.

According to data provided by Elering, the output from wind turbines came to 684,214 MWh last year, at 663,745 MWh in 2022, at 733,647 MWh in 2021 and at 823,712 MWh in 2020, in other words the figure in 2020 was higher than that for 2023.

However, in total, Estonian wind farms produced nearly 120 GWh of energy in January this year (119,795.8 MWh as of 1 p.m. on Wednesday, January 31).

According to Elering, this is also the largest output volume that wind generators have added to the national grid within the space of one month in Estonia.

The previous record dated back to 2020, when Estonian wind farms produced 106,190 MWh of electricity in January.

The coldest months have also tended to be the months with the highest wind energy production; wind turbines in Estonia produced the most electricity in January and October in 2023, in January and February in 2022, in October and March in 2021 and in January and February in 2020.

Largest generators do not comment on their results

Estonia's most significant wind electricity generators are Enefit Green and Utilitas Wind, neither of which said they wanted to comment directly on their January output or profits.

On this, Enefit Green spokesperson Kadri Korsten said: "Due to the stock exchange rules, Enefit Green cannot comment more directly on wind energy production and its profitability so far in January."

"We publish our generation results in accordance with the financial reporting calendar once per month, our financial results quarterly," Korsten went on.

"Based on the generation data from wind farms, we can say that the wind conditions in January have been rather good. This in turn has ensured production."

"While profitability fluctuates between years and between quarters, the wind energy area, Enefit Green's largest business segment, has been profitable in all quarters in recent years. Usually, the more profitable periods have been the windiest quarters of the year, meaning especially the first and fourth quarters," Korsten went on. 

Enefit Green will comment on the January production results at the start of February, she said.

Enefit Green operates 19 wind farms in Estonia with a total capacity of 280 MW. The largest of these are Aulepa I (which has a capacity of 39 MW), Narva (a capacity of 39 MW), Aseriaru (24 MW capacity), Paldiski I and II (both 22.5 MW), Purtse (21 MW), Viru-Nigula (21) and Pakri (18.4 MW).

Utilitas operates the Saarde wind farm (39 MW) near Kilingi-Nõmme, Viljandi County, which supplies electricity to the grid, but the last network tests are also taking place there, a spokesperson for Utilitas told ERR.

Furthermore, the company has a 3.6 MW development under construction in Aseri, Lääne-Viru County, where the wind turbines are already erected but not yet producing electricity.

Kadri Hansalu, Utilitas spokesperson, said: ""We are not willing to comment on the production per park, and especially over such a short period of time as 30 days, or even one day."

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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