Eesti Energia launches windfarm

  • 2009-07-08
  • By Ashley Brettell
TALLINN - A survey carried out by GfK research has concluded that one third of Estonian's are prepared to pay more for sustainable energy, ERR News reported.
This might prove to be good news for the government and Eesti Energia, which has just opened the biggest wind farm in the Baltics.

Of a thousand respondents, 33 percent said they would be willing to pay more for renewable energy.
Mauri Soot, a sociologist, said "the results could be expected in the current economic situation."
"Ninety-one percent of people replied in the same survey that they've started to consume more economically. Currently people say no to any possible additional expenses," Soot said.
The survey also shows that students and the young are more willing to pay for renewable energy. Soot said it could be a sign of the young's higher environment awareness, but they also have a lower sense of the relationship between personal money and electricity bills.

The Estonian government has said it is committed to increasing the provision of sustainable energy. In conjunction with the European Union's environmental strategy Estonia has its own plan to increase sustainable development 's including sustainable energy.
Estonia has been much criticized in the past for its reliance on oil shale 's an abundant natural resource in the country 's for its energy. Although new technologies are being employed, it is still a relatively unfriendly environmental process.

Yet state owned Eesti Energia has just opened the largest wind farm in the Baltic's.
Aulepa wind farm in Laane County is Eesti Energia's biggest investment into the development of renewable energy to date.
"The completion of Aulepa wind farm is a major step toward cleaner and more responsible energy production," said Chairman of the Eesti Energia Management Board Sandor Liive at the opening on June 16.

 "The completion of Aulepa wind farm supports the Eesti Energia production strategy, one of the primary goals of which is to make energy generation more environmentally friendly," Liive said.
 Eesti Energia's Renewable Energy Business Unit director Ando Leppiman, meanwhile, said "stricter environmental requirements and EU climate policy speak strongly in favor of the adoption of energy produced from renewable sources."

"Thanks to Aulepa wind farm, we can offer Eesti Energia customers electricity produced in an environmentally sustainable manner, cutting annual atmospheric emissions of carbon dioxide by 120,000 tons," Leppiman said.
The new wind farm is rated at 39 megawatts (MW). The wind farm has 13 turbines, each rated at 3 MW. Sven Aasa, member of the Aulepa wind farm's management board and project manager, described the process of completion as "smooth" and praised the cooperation between all of the parties involved.

"The work began last January to establish the wind farm and it proceeded without a hitch," he said.
The annual output of Aulepa wind farm will be about 100 gigawatt hours (GWh), which is 1.3 percent of the domestic end consumption of electricity in Estonia.
That is approximately equivalent to the amount of power consumed per year by 35,000 Estonian families.

The total cost of the project is close to 900 million kroons (58 million euros) and it was self-financed by Eesti Energia. The prime contractor was the Finnish wind turbine producer Winwind OY.