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Estonian govt terminates development of Saaremaa offshore wind farm

Estonian news - eteap April 4, 2019

Baltic News Service. 4th of April, 2019

Citing a potential threat to national security, the Estonian government decided on Thursday to refuse to initiate the procedure for a building permit for the establishment of an offshore wind farm off the west coast of the island of Saaremaa.

The company Saare Wind Energy OU has been working since 2015 on a plan to establish an offshore wind farm of 100 turbines of six megawatts each off the coast of Saaremaa. The wind farm would cost in the region of 1.7 billion euros. The company last sent a request to the government at the end of 2017 for the latter to make a decision regarding the initiation of a building permit procedure.

The reason for the refusal is the suspicion that if the building permit is granted, the applicant may threaten public order, social security and national security, government spokespeople said. The Ministry of Justice will represent the state in the challenging of the order.

Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu said at a government press conference in February that the government will refuse to give permission for the establishment of a wind farm off the coast of the island of Saaremaa because according to the Internal Security Service, the offshore farm may bring with it a risk for Estonia’s security.

It appears from the application for building rights filed by the developer with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications that the offshore farm would be situated in the sea at a distance of 10-27 kilometers from the western coast of Saaremaa and would include 100 turbines. The company applied for a building permit for 50 years.

The company planned for the wind farm to have an annual output capacity of 2,800 gigawatt-hours, which equals 30.9 percent of Estonia’s total electricity output in 2015.

According to the Commercial Register, the owners of Saare Wind Energy are Veiko Vali with a holding of 66.7 percent and Kuido Kartau with 33.3 percent.

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