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Estonian power co to study wind park’s effect on Baltic herring

Estonian news - etea July 29, 2013

Baltic News Service, 29.07.2013

Estonia’s state-owned energy group Eesti Energia has commissioned a study to find out how an offshore wind park it plans to build near Kihnu Island might affect the migration and spawning of Baltic herring in the area, the daily Eesti Paevaleht says.

“Baltic herring, like all herring, are very sensitive and we need to study how the vibration of wind turbines could affect their behavior,” Henn Ojaveer, a lead researcher at the University of Tartu, told the paper. “Baltic herring comes to the Bay of Parnu from the expanse of the Gulf of Riga and if there’s an obstacle it might give up migrating or choose a longer route that entails a considerably bigger outlay of energy.”

Eesti Energia has not yet signed a contract with the Marine Institute of the university. The study that will cost 100,000 euros is to be conducted between August and October either this year or the next.

Researchers of the Marine Institute started a bird study for Eesti Energia in the same area last year.

The energy giant is planning to install up to 100 wind turbines with a total capacity of 500 megawatts 10-12 kilometers south of the island of Kihnu. Residents of the island are not enthusiastic about the plan, fearing it might affect their livelihood.

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