Wind energy in Estonia: Eesti Energia to build wind farm

Estonia’s state-owned energy company Eesti Energia announced Thursday that it will build a 9 megawatt wind farm on a former ash field near eastern Estonian border town of Narva.

The construction of 17 wind turbines with the cost of €60 million will be conducted by Enercon. The works will start in summer and the wind farm is due to be completed by 2012. The annual electricity output of the whole wind farm is estimated about 90 gwh which is enough to cover the electricity for about 35,000 Estonian families with average electricity consumption.

The construction contract with Enercon that won the procurement will be concluded during the summer and then the works will also be launched. The wind turbines with the capacity of 2.3 MW will be established at the field before the end of 2011.

“It is important for us to use this footprint of the oil shale energy sector as the foundation for wind power,” Ando Leppiman, director of Eesti Energia’s renewable energy business unit said in a press release. “For Eesti Energia it will mean doubling the electricity generated from wind power compared to the current annual total.”

“The energy produced in an environmentally friendly manner on the Narva ash field can in future cover the electricity consumption of nearly 35,000 Estonian households with average consumption levels,” said Leppiman.

Eesti Energia will also add three wind turbines to Aulea wind farm in summer 2011, which is currently most powerful wind farm in the country.

In the summer of 2009, Eesti Energia opened at Aulea the most powerful wind farm in the Baltics. The 39 MW wind farm will gain three more wind turbines by the summer of 2011. The total output of the 16 wind turbines will be 48 MW and the annual electrical output will be a maximum of 123 GWh.

In addition, a public procurement is currently taking place for the establishment of a wind farm on the Pakri peninsula in Paldiski and it is planned to have the construction contract signed in the autumn of this year. Eesti Energia is also considering building a wind farm in the Auvere area in Vaivara municipality in extreme north-eastern Estonia and is studying options for offshore wind farms in the Gulf of Riga.

The closure of the second ash field at Balti power plant was a far-reaching environmental project, a large part of the financing for which came from the European Union Cohesion Fund. In the course of the decommissioning project, which came to an end in 2008, a new neutralization plant and a landfill for inert waste were established on the ash field (out of use since 1986), the area was recultivated and the former sedimentation pond was turned into a wetland area.