Aidu developers: Authorities not playing ball on Supreme Court judgement

Eleon owners Andres and Oleg Sõnajalg.
Eleon owners Andres and Oleg Sõnajalg. Source: ERR

The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) has yet to remove surveillance cameras from the site of the under-construction Aidu wind farm in Ida-Viru County, the site's developers claim, despite a ruling by the Supreme Court last week that construction permits held by the developers are valid. The developers also say the consumer authority is not honoring its requirements in the matter.

The Supreme Court's ruling effectively dismissed a case brought by the ministry of Justice in 2017, in controversy involving the governor of Ida-Viru County (which had first protested the permits, issued in 2013 for the wind farm in Lüganase municipality and had been overruled by both Tartu administrative and Tartu circuit courts) and involved two other ministries, the environment ministry, and the defense ministry. The latter said that the two turbines already erected at the proposed 30-turbine site interfered with ministry radar.

The PPA installed the surveillance cameras, however, as a result of a separate injunction issued by the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority (TTJA), which had said that the turbines as constructed did not comply with the original thematic plan.

The injunction, issued on April 12, only remained in effect until the end of litigation and ceased to serve as valid basis for surveillance activities when the Supreme Court ruled in the developer's favor, BNS reports.

Andres Sõnajalg, head of Aidu wind farm developer Eleon Green and one of two brothers behind the project, said that the company has turned to the PPA's east prefecture with regard to the removal of surveillance equipment, but has yet to receive a reply.

"Considering the capability of the Estonian police, it should not have been an insurmountable task for them to drop by at Aidu on the same day or the next at the latest. Sadly, it has yet to be done, which indicates that the PPA does not consider the rights of individuals a priority," Sõnajalg said, according to BNS.

Also outstanding is compensation for the developer's legal costs, which were laid out in the Supreme Court ruling. Eleon Green has already approached bailiffs on the matter, according to BNS.

The Sõnajalgs also say the TTJA has not honored its obligations, by seeking to amend the April 12 injunction after it had expired.

"The heads of these agencies, who in this case are the director general of the PPA, Elmar Vaher, and the director general of the TTJA Kaur Kajak, should take responsibility in this marter," the developers said, BNS reports.

Eleon had earlier erected a patented 3M116 direct drive wind turbine prototype on the island of Saaremaa in 2013. This prototype met all requirements, BNS reports, as well as making reported efficiency gains 30 percent greater energy production compared to similar technologies worldwide.

The Supreme Court judgement came into effect on Tuesday, 11 Sept.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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