Eesti Energia announced procurement for surveying the offshore wind farm area in the Gulf of Riga
In March, Eesti Energia announced procurement for conducting environmental impact assessment studies in the Gulf of Riga offshore wind farm area.
In order to find the researchers, Eesti Energia published a total of six notices in the Public Procurement Register together with the terms of reference for the research. Research institutions and experts in the field from Estonia and abroad are expected to participate in the procurement.
According to Margus Vals, Member of the Management Board of Eesti Energia, the Liivi offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Riga plays a key role in both Estonia's energy security and green revolution. “Now is the time to take fundamental steps to increase renewable energy production. Upon successful completion of the planning phase, the Liivi offshore wind farm will be able to start production as early as 2028 and cover half of the electricity consumed in Estonia. This is an effective and realistic project to produce affordable and environmentally friendly electricity on a large scale in Estonia,” he said.
Vals emphasized that the research to the farm has a wider value not only for wind energy but for the whole of Estonia. "We are convinced that the key to developing an energy solution of this scale is good cooperation and partnership with experts and the local community. The results of the impact assessment studies provide a very good overview of the current state of the marine environment in the proposed wind farm area and the objects located on the seabed. The research will be carried out in accordance with the conditions set out in the impact assessment program, but we are in open discussion with experts and we are committed to finding the optimal solution for all involved,” Vals said.
The data collected as preliminary work for the establishment of the farm can be an input for further research and studies on the Estonian maritime area. According to the wind farm's environmental impact assessment program, seabed and biota, fish, birds, seals, bats as well as possible shipwrecks are studied in the offshore wind farm area.
Research is planned in the wind farm area in a total of nearly 20 fields. In addition to the aforementioned studies on fish fauna, birds, Chiroptera and mammals, potential seabed processes, waves, ice risks and sediments are analyzed. Separate studies are planned for noise, vibration and turbulence. The socio-economic impact and safety of the wind farm are also assessed as a whole. These studies and analyzes are carried out by the consulting company Skepast and Puhkim together with experts in the respective field.
The environmental impact assessment will take more than two years, and its final report will show which wind turbines can be built in the area, whether and what the potential dangers are and how to mitigate them.
Eesti Energia has been developing the Liivi project for an offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Riga since 2010. A building permit procedure has been initiated for the park in 2019, the Pärnu Marine Plan is in force in the park area, which envisages the development of wind energy in the area, an environmental impact assessment program has been approved and an impact assessment is currently being carried out.