The council of the Hiiu district in Estonia have approved a cooperation agreement with energy company Nelja Energia AS and Hiiumaa Offshore Tuulepark for the development of the Loode-Eesti offshore wind project in the Baltic Sea.
The new offshore wind farm will be located near Hiiumaa Island in the Baltic and will consist of between 100 and 160 wind turbines with an aggregate capacity of 700 to 1,100 MW and a nominal capacity of 4-7 MW. Nelja Energia AS and Hiiumaa Offshore Tuulepark will also contribute to the development of Hiiumaa Island, including its economy and security of electricity supply.
“The letter of intent signed three years ago now becomes a binding agreement that will ensure several benefits for Hiiumaa and its residents upon the completion of the wind farm” said Juri Ojasoo, chairman of Hiiu council.
Mr Ojasoo added that the most important provisions of the agreement for the community are that the wind farm will have a minimal visual footprint and that no turbines will be put up closer than 12 kilometres from the island and on Neupokoyev Bank. Furthermore, visual footprint will be kept under control by the provision that if the wind farm is linked up to the transmission grid via Hiiumaa Island, only submerged cables and underground cables will be used.
A loop connection will be established with Hiiumaa and the maintenance operations centre for the wind farm will also be located on the island. This will act as a base for the training of wind energy technicians in the future and is expected to create 30 new jobs as well as 20 indirect jobs.
The developer and the council will also set up a non-profit in order to promote the economic and social well-being of the community and support local not-for-profit initiatives. The wind farm will donate to the non-profit at least 0.2 percent of its revenue from the sale of electricity, but not less than 0.32 euros per MWh of electricity generated. Residents of Hiiu municipality will also be able to invest in the wind farm through the purchase of preference shares or bonds with a fixed annual interest rate of 15 percent.