Estonian Government Halts 600MW Offshore Wind Project
The Estonian government will not issue a building permit to the developer of a 600MW offshore wind farm in the Estonian Baltic Sea, citing national security concerns as the reason for the decision.
The 600MW Saaremaa offshore wind farm is being developed by SaareOU.
The company proposes to erect 100 turbines in the 6-megawatt class off the west coast of the Saaremaa Island. The project was initially valued at around EUR 1.7 billion, which has now been lowered to EUR 1.3 billion due to technological advancements and lower construction cost.
The Estonian Wind Power Association has cited government spokespersons as saying that ''if the building permit is granted, the applicant may threaten public order, social security and national security.''
According to local media reports, one of the main concerns is that funding for the project may come from ''Russia or any other hostile country.'' The developers have dismissed this claim, saying that the financing offers came from the UK and Germany.
Back in February, Estonia's Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu announced the government's decision to refuse to issue the building permit for the project ''because according to the Internal Security Service, the offshore farm may bring with it a risk for Estonia’s security.''
The developer is expected to challenge the government's decision in court.