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Eesti Energia to take part in auction for Tootsi wind farm land

Estonian news - etea October 16, 2017

Baltic News Service. 16th of October, 2017

The state owned Estonian energy group Eesti Energia definitely intends to participate in the public auction for the properties at Tootsi in Parnu County that their government designated owner, the state forest management company RMK, has put up for auction with a starting price of 12.3 million euros.

Eesti Energia announced on Monday that it wishes to go on with the wind farm project.

“The auction will be won by the company which has the best business plan for utilizing the area of Tootsi Bog. At Eesti Energia we see the Tootsi land area as offering good prospects and have been engaged in its development already since 2011,” Eesti Energia board member Margus Vals said in a press release. He added that the auction offers equal conditions to all parties.

Vals described the decision of the supervisory board of the state forest management company RMK to announce an auction for the Tootsi land plots as an important step in the development of renewable energy in Estonia.

The Eesti Energia board member said that while they will familiarize themselves with the terms of the auction at the first opportunity, they definitely intend to take part in the auction because they wish to go on with the wind farm development.

Eesti Energia said that its plan is to build a wind farm of 38 turbines, the biggest wind generating facility in the Baltics, in the territory of exhausted peat fields at Tootsi. The investment measuring in the hundreds of millions of euros would bring several tens of jobs to the region and provide additionally 100,000 euros towards the development of the local community per year via a nonprofit to be established for that purpose.

The supervisory board of RMK announced on Monday that it has decided to put the properties at Tootsi up for sale with a starting price of 12.3 million euros. The public auction will take place at RMK offices at Toompuiestee 24, Tallinn at 2 p.m. on Nov. 8. The starting price of the property in the oral auction is 12.3 million euros, RMK said.

A deposit of 1.2 million euros is required from participants and the auction participation fee is 3,000 euros. The starting price and the final price of the auction are inclusive of VAT.

The Tootsi wind farm property is situated on 160 hectares in the territory of the Vandra rural municipality in Parnu County. It consists of 40 cadastral units 38 of which have been designated for wind turbines and two for wind measuring towers.

The government in April declared invalid a decision to allocate the Tootsi land properties to the state owned energy company Eesti Energia for establishing a wind farm and decided to hold an auction for the land.

Previously, the government on Dec. 8, 2016 endorsed a decision to increase the share capital of Eesti Energia and hand over to the company the Tootsi plot then valued at 4.1 million euros as a noncash consideration.

The state owned energy company was planning to build a wind farm worth several hundred million euros and with an output of around 150 megawatts on the plot by 2020, which according to the Estonian Wind Technology Association would make up 54 percent of the whole capacity of wind farms planned to be erected in Estonia.

A number of Estonian businesses operating in the field of renewable energy have sued the government over the decision to hand over the Tootsi wind farm plot to the state-owned Eesti Energia. According to the private businesses, handing over a valuable plot to a state-owned company without an auction jeopardizes free competition and other businesses operating on the market.

According to the government coalition agreement signed in November 2016, the government is planning to list 49 percent of the shares in the Eesti Energia renewable energy subsidiary Enefit Taastuvenergia, which would include wind, hydro and other types of renewable energy.

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