September 9, 2019

Environmental activists: No legal basis for establishing Northwestern Estonian wind farm

The Baltic Course | 09.09.2019 |

At a meeting with representatives of Estonian state-owned energy group Eesti Energia’s renewable energy subsidiary Enefit Green this week, environmental protection NGO Hiiu Tuul emphasized that there is no legal basis for establishing a Northwestern Estonian coastal waters wind farm, reported LETA/BNS.

Enefit Green has submitted to public display an environmental impact assessment of a Northwestern Estonian coastal waters wind farm, according to which the company is planning an up to 1,100 megawatt off-shore wind farm near the island of Hiiumaa. A public discussion will be held at the Kardla culture center at 4 p.m. on Sept. 18. Representatives of Hiiu Tuul explained to the developers that a ruling of the Administrative Law Chamber of the Supreme Court of Estonia in August 2018 revoked a county plan regarding the development areas of wind farms. A plan of the sea area of Hiiumaa in which there are no wind energy development areas would be integrated into the nationwide sea area plan.

The top court revoked the wind energy development areas as the report concerning strategic assessment of environmental impact featured significant shortcomings and on this basis there could not be a firm conviction that these proposed areas are suitable for the development of wind energy. It has not been checked whether wind farms could be established in the Hiiumaa sea area at all. The submission of an environmental impact assessment report, which answers the question how to establish a wind farm, is not appropriate for a state based on the rule of law in this situation, the NGO said.

Hiiu Tuul said that for years, residents and supporters of the island have fought to preserve the unique nature of Hiiumaa and its sea area. In 2008-2010, over 8,000 signatures to the petition titled “I do not want giant wind farms in Hiiumaa and the coastal sea of Estonia!” and ahead of a public discussion of the environmental impact assessment report of the Northwestern Estonian wind farm in March 2017, residents of Hiiumaa expressed their stance at a picket.

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