The Estonian Ministry of Climate has granted approval for the environmental impact assessment report of the 1GW North-Western Estonian offshore wind farm, a significant initiative spearheaded by Enefit Green.
Designed to accommodate up to 60 turbines, the offshore site is projected to yield an annual electricity production of approximately 4TWh. Enefit Green envisions the commencement of operations in the 2030s, marking a pivotal step towards Estonia's ambitious target of achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050.
Highlighting the diverse renewable energy portfolio, including onshore wind farms and solar parks, offshore wind is expected to play a substantial role in realizing these national sustainability goals.
Karmo Kõrvek, the Development Manager of Offshore Wind Power at Enefit Green, emphasized the advantages of offshore wind, citing the consistent and stronger wind patterns at sea, even in the absence of wind or sunlight on land. This reliability is crucial for maintaining a steady renewable energy supply.
Kõrvek stated, “The production of renewable energy on a larger scale will also revitalize our economy, providing additional incentives for energy-intensive companies to invest in Estonia.”
As part of the project's community impact, Enefit Green disclosed that local authorities within a 20km radius of the wind farm will receive funding ranging from €1 million to €1.4 million at current average electricity prices. This financial support aims to rejuvenate local life in the vicinity.
Moreover, the construction phase of the offshore wind farm is anticipated to generate hundreds of new jobs, with subsequent permanent positions for wind farm caretakers and managers, along with indirect employment opportunities.
Kõrvek underscored the comprehensive and meticulous environmental impact assessment process that commenced in 2006, involving extensive studies to elucidate potential environmental impacts and mitigation measures. Notably, construction activities are restricted during crucial periods such as seal feeding and fish spawning.
The environmental impact assessment was conducted by Skepast and Puhkim OÜ, contributing to a thorough understanding of the ecological implications associated with the establishment of the North-West Estonian offshore wind farm.