Enefit Green plans to build a wind farm with a capacity of up to 1,100 MW in the North-West Estonian coastal sea. The proposed wind farm will be located on low-lying areas at least 12 km northwest and north of the coast of Hiiumaa. Based on the approved report, the Ministry of Climate Change imposed a number of environmental requirements.

According to the decision of the Ministry of Climate Change, the preferred option for the wind farm is Alternative 4, which was identified in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report as the preferred option in the comparison of the alternatives. With mitigating measures, this will result in a total wind farm capacity of 960 MW (48 wind turbines with a unit capacity of 20 MW). For the submarine cable, the preferred location alternative is Alternative 3. The construction and operation of the wind farm will have to take into account the mitigation and monitoring measures outlined in the EIA report and, if necessary, updated in the light of the results of the studies and monitoring.

The Ministry of Climate Change considers that the requirements of the EIA report have been met. Amongst other things, an overview of the proposed activity and its alternatives, a description of the state of the environment likely to be affected and an assessment of the significant environmental impacts of the proposed activity and its alternatives have been provided. The alternatives are also compared and ranked. Mitigation and monitoring measures for adverse environmental effects are presented. A Natura assessment has been carried out. The report also includes an overview of the stages of the public consultation.

The EIA procedure for the North-West Estonian Coastal Wind Farm has been ongoing since 2006. Rainer Persidski, advisor to the Department of Environmental Management and Radiation of the Ministry of Climate Change, explained that there are several objective reasons for the length of the EIA procedure, the most important being that the studies carried out during the EIA, the results of the public consultation and the wind turbine development have changed the project.

Approval of the EIA report does not mean that construction of the wind farm will start soon. Before that, it is necessary to carry out a planning procedure together with a strategic environmental assessment.

Source: Ministry of Climate Change, Estonia