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Half of Ida-Viru County still off-limits to wind farms with new radar

According to a map drawn up by the Ministry of Defence detailing parts of the country suitable for the development of onshore wind farms, the eastern half of Ida-Viru County would remain off-limits to wind farms even after an additional new radar is completed in 2024 – the absence of which had impeded their construction in the first place.

Highlighted as an additional new development area where it would be permitted to build wind turbines up to 150 meters in height is the western part of Ida-Viru County and northeastern and eastern parts of Lääne-Viru County, where wind farms could be developed without height restrictions after the implementation of compensatory measures, i.e. the installation of an additional aerial surveillance radar and radio reconnaissance equipment.

According to a working group established on the initiative of the Ministry of Defence and co-managed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications in 2016 in order to clarify the interoperability of wind turbines and national defense systems, it isn’t possible to develop new wind parks east of a line running from Jõhvi to Iisaku, as wind farms located there would negatively impact additional measures, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) said in response to a written question submitted by Reform MP Madis Milling.

The same is reflected in the map sent to local governments by the economic affairs ministry.

Materials sent to local governments signed by Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications Deputy Secretary General for Energy Timo Tatar cite that even after a planned additional new Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) radar located in southern Lääne-Viru County is completed in 2024, the northeastern city and towns of Narva, Sillamäe and Narva-Jõesuu will still remain in a restricted area where no wind turbine construction can be planned for at least the next 15 years.

Assuming that the additional radar is built, local governments that can take the possibility of building wind turbines into account while planning include the town of Kohtla-Järve, Lüganuse Municipality, and, in part, Alutaguse, Jõhvi and Toila Municipalities.

According to a wind atlas published by the Estonian Wind Power Association, northern parts of Ida-Viru County is among parts of the Estonian mainland with the highest wind power density.