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Eesti Energia wants proceedings re Kihnu wind park to be sped up

Estonian news - eteap January 10, 2018

Baltic News Service. 10th of Jan, 2018

The state owned Estonian energy group Eesti Energia wants the government to speed up the handling of the building permit of the 1,000 megawatt Kihnu wind park, which has not been launched in seven years.

Eesti Energia has filed a request for information to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, in which the company wishes to know when the ministry will make a proposal to the government concerning the launch of proceedings regarding the building permit of the Kihnu wind park.

“The Technical Supervision Authority on Nov. 2 filed a proposal to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications to initiate the handling of the building permit. We are drawing attention to the fact that the authority to their letter also added a bill of initiation, a letter of explanation and a short summary to the government. Thus, all necessary documents for making a proposal to the government to handle the building permit have been sent to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications,” it is said in a letter written to the ministry by Eesti Energia’s lawyer Alan Paas.

“We have had the southwestern Estonian wind park project in development for a long time, for several years. If the wind park is built at some point in the future, it will make a significant contribution to the fulfilment of Estonia’s climate goals and diversify Estonia’s energy portfolio. However, it is still too early to speak about a more specific schedule or the volume of work,” Aavo Karmas, CEO of Eesti Energia’s subsidiary Enefit Green told BNS.

Eesti Energia at the beginning of 2010 submitted a building permit application for the construction of a wind park in the Gulf of Riga. The company in summer 2015 changed its application, according to which Eesti Energia is applying for a building permit south of the island of Kihnu. The company is planning to build up to 160 open sea windmills with a total capacity of 1,000 megawatts.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications said that it is necessary to conduct an environmental impact assessment and underwater archaeological studies. Conducting the studies may take up to five years starting from the initiation of the handling.

“A reasonable deadline must be set for conducting the analyses. In practice, various circumstances may occur during the environmental impact assessment that may also affect the deadline for conducting the studies, but considering the information submitted by the applicant and the planned time for conducting the studies, it is reasonable to set the deadline for conducting the studies at five years, starting from the initiation of the handling,” it is said in the letter of explanation of the bill to initiate the handling of the building permit.

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