Estonia to study impact of wind farms on protected species

  • 2023-02-27
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The Estonian State Shared Service Center has announced tenders for the Environment Agency for determining existing and potential bat and flying squirrel habitats in possible wind energy development areas, and the agency also wants to map the distribution of protected plants in these areas. 

The objective of the tenders is to study the possible impact of wind energy development and the extent thereof on bats and flying squirrels and find areas where the impact is minimal, it appears from the procurement notice.

In the course of performing the task, the tenderer will determine the presence of animals and number thereof in the study area and both known and expected habitats and movement corridors of flying squirrels and bats will be analyzed, so that a possible wind farm does not destroy habitats or cut through movement corridors. It is also necessary to assess the potential disturbance to animals from the wind farm. The research methodology includes, for example, nighttime sonar recordings, field surveys, data analysis, and modeling. The survey report must also include suggestions for mitigation measures.

Bat habitats are planned to be studied in 23 study areas with a total area of 500 square meters, flying squirrels will be studied in 12,400 hectares in four study areas.

Plant studies are planned to be carried out in 23 study areas with a total area of 55 square kilometers. The aim of the research is to compile inventories of forest, meadow and marsh habitats and the protected vascular plant species and protected mushroom and moss species found in them, as well as valuable forest habitats, in order to clarify the possible impact and its extent on the species and habitats to be inventoried in the event of the construction of a wind farm, and to propose initial mitigation measures and describe the necessary follow-up monitoring.

The plant studies are scheduled to last until Nov. 15, flying squirrel studies until Sept. 1, and bat studies until Feb. 15, 2024.

Bids can be submitted until April 4, and the estimated total cost of the three procurements is 335,000 euros.