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Eleon contests decision to auction Tootsi wind farm plots

Estonian news - eteap November 1, 2017

Baltic News Service. 1st of Nov, 2017

The Estonian wind energy developer AS Eleon has contested in court a decision of the state forest management company RMK to put the land plots designated for a large wind farm at Tootsi in southwestern Estonia up for auction.

Simultaneously it made a request to the court for provisional judicial protection.

Eleon said that going to court was their only option, as the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications has not decided on an application filed by the company earlier to use the possibility offered by the State Assets Act to determine the building rights by discretionary procedure. Eleon said that they filed a request to this effect already at the beginning of May.

“Unlike the other parties interested in the property, we are aiming not just to produce electricity with random wind turbines, but to set up a reference park for wind turbines based on Estonian technology and to then launch the export of Estonian wind turbines to other countries. This aim fits in well with the logic of the new legislative provision,” Eleon board member Andres Sonajalg said of the possibility set out in the State Assets Act to determine the building rights by discretionary procedure.

According to Eleon, the 3M116 wind turbine of Eleon is more productive and moer effective than the other wind turbines used in Estonia.

“Since the state has held back the development of wind farms in East-Viru county, the Tootsi wind farm is the only area in Estonia at the moment where new capacities can be set up on a large scale,” Sonajalg said. “With a public auction a very big danger exists that bidders will take part in it whose aim is not to set up a wind farm if they win the auction, but to help existing producers of wind energy maintain their rates of subsidy through preventing an increase in capacities.”

The supervisory board of the state forest management company RMK, the government designated owner of the Tootsi properties, has decided to put the land 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 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.

RMK is selling the properties on the basis of a decision of the government from April 27 to hold a public auction for the Tootsi property.

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.

Established in 2007, the Estonian company Eleon AS is a developer of multi-megawatt class wind turbines. The first 3M116 wind turbine using Eleon technology was built on Saaremaa Island in 2013. In 2016, the 3-megawatt turbine of Eleon generated 11.2 gigawatt hours of electric energy.

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