Consumer regulator demands Aidu wind farm documentation by Monday

The Sõnajalg brothers, Oleg (left) and Andres, appearing on Thursday's edition of Ringvaade.
The Sõnajalg brothers, Oleg (left) and Andres, appearing on Thursday's edition of Ringvaade. Source: ERR

The Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority (TTJA) has demanded documentation on the Aidu wind farm, BNS reports.

The documentation the TTJA wants covers a wide range of data, including construction project details, artistic realistations, technical drawings and data, manufacturer instructions, health and safety information, work completed so far, and a construction log, it is reported, and the information needs to be presented by 12.00 EET on Monday, 29 April.

The proposed wind farm, at Aidu, in the Maidla municipality in Ida-Viru County, has seen a long-running battle between the authorities and the entrepreneurs behing it, brothers Andres and Oleg Sõnajalg.

Work started on the project in 2013, but progress has been persistently held up, including on the issue of permissions, and concerns from both the Ministry of Defence, and the environment ministry.

Last Friday, after the brothers refused to comply with an order to halt construction work, the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) declared the construction zone at Aidu off-limits, an entry ban which was susbeqently extended to midnight on 26 April.

Earlier in the week, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) expressed a desire to find a solution on the case, and in relations between public and private sectors in general.

The brothers' company, Eleon Green faces fines of up to €64,000 if it does not comply with the latest demands from the consumer agency, according to BNS. A 30-day appeals procedure is open as well, it is reported, though going down this route does not nullify the injunction or potential fines without a court decision.

The site of the proposed 30, 3 MW turbines was thought to pose a threat to Estonia's national security; the defence ministry stated that the turbines' operation would interfere with military radar and other equipment.

The 2013 building permit is no longer valid, and a later one from 2015 is subject to a court challenge and in any case, construction must take place within two years of the issuing of a permit, the TTJA says.

Appearing on ETV current affairs show Ringvaade on Thursday evening, Andres Sõnajalg stated that the defence ministry's claims were without basis, since the project had the correct permits, with brother Oleg adding that Aidu was the only site in Estonia suitable for building a wind farm of that size.

The case is ongoing.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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