TALLINN - Eesti Energia has announced that it acquired a major wind energy project as part of a 57 million euro plan to develop Estonia's share of renewables in its energy output mix, which is currently dominated by oil shale.
"The acquisition of Aulepa Wind Park is an important step toward implementing [Eesti Energia's] production strategy," Ando Leppiman, a company executive, said in a statement.
"Against a background of ever toughening environmental requirements, we wish to supply our clients with quality energy produced from various energy sources, and decrease the environmental impact of oil shale energy," he said.
The Aulepa wind project will have an annual output capacity of 100 gigawatts, or only 1.3 percent of Estonia's total yearly consumption, the company said. Still, it will also be the largest wind energy park in the Baltics after targeted completion in 2009.
Finland's WinWind OY will supply the project's wind generators, said Eesti Energia, which will finance the project entirely from its own funds.
"The production portfolio of Eesti Energia is too homogeneous 's more than 90 percent of electricity is produced from oil shale and is therefore too risky with respect to possible changes in the environment," Toomas Niin-emae, a company executive, said.
The Aulepa project will prevent the emission of almost 120,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the air, the company said.
In the future, the state-owned company will continue to diversify production "by investing, for example, in nuclear power plants, co-production plants and windmills producing renewable energy," the company said.
The company's other renewable energy projects include the establishment of a 50 megawatt wind park on the closed ash field of the Baltic Power Station, a wind park on Lake Peipsi, a waste-incineration based combined production unit of heat and electricity at Iru Power Plant and a co-production plant based on biofuel at Ahtme.
In the near future the Ruhnu wind park and the second Eesti Energia windmill in the Virtsu wind park will go into operation, the company said.