RIGA - A number of Ventspils businessmen involved in the transit business have reportedly begun a project to create a 12-megawatt wind-power station with six wind turbines.
The Economy Ministry's energy department said that the company, SIA Rietumu Elektrosistemas (Western Electric Systems), applied for permission in August. The ministry said it was still reviewing additional information submitted by the company and has not yet issued permission.
In addition to a permit from the ministry, planning a wind farm of such scale requires a construction permit, a public regulator license and other documents to officially initiate the project.
A ministry representative said that although the Latvenergo power company has already approved the project, the price of any power bought from the company is still "a matter of agreement."
Until recently, the Latvenergo state electricity utility was obliged to buy power from small alternative energy sources for double the purchasing price in order to boost the environmental friendly production. As of now, any energy producer may agree on an electricity price directly with the consumer.
As far as Rietumu Elektrosistemas, no specific details are yet available.
The president of the Latvian Wind Energy Association, Paulis Barons, said that such a project would require around 12 million euros in investment, depending on infrastructure, with an estimated return of 10 's 12 years.
He added that returns would depend on the price of energy sold. Latvenergo's offer is close to unbeatable considering that over 60 percent of the company's energy output comes from hydroelectric power, one of the cheapest forms of electricity production.
"It's fairly problematic to compete with Latvenergo prices at the moment with wind power. Maybe in around 10 years or so wind power will be ahead of Latvenergo," said Barons.
According to the Lursoft database, Rietumu Elektrosistemas is linked to a number of former Ventspils transit representatives. It was founded in January of this year and 90 percent is indirectly owned by former Ventbunkers President Olafs Berkis, former Ventspils Nafta President Igors Skoks and his family and former Transnefteproduct representative on the LatRosTrans council Genadijs Sevcovs.