The construction of the Utilitas Saarde wind farm is progressing faster than planned

ENG Täna väisas rahandusminister Annely Akkermann (vasakul) koos Utilitas Windi juhatuse liikme Rene Tammistiga Saarde tuuleparki. Foto taustal on üheksanda tuuliku vundament.

By mid-January, the foundation of the ninth and last wind turbine of the Saarde wind farm in Pärnumaa was concreted. Estonia’s most modern wind farm will start to produce electricity this summer.

Board member of Utilitas Wind, Rene Tammist, noted that the construction of the Saarde wind farm has gone exceptionally smoothly. ”The foundations of the wind turbines were laid and the access roads built ahead of schedule. These were initially planned to be completed by May,“ said Tammist.

Nine Vestas V150 type wind turbines, which are currently the most modern and efficient wind turbines installed in Estonia, are expected to produce 135 GWh of electricity per year. This covers the annual electricity consumption of more than 40 thousand households. The capacity of one wind turbine is 4.3 MW.

Tammist stated that against the background of the current energy crisis, no one should have any doubts about the necessity of establishing local sources of renewable energy, such as onshore and offshore wind farms. ”The faster we create independent, sustainable and reliable energy production capacities in Estonia, the more reasonable the price of electricity will be, and the more relieved we can be,“ he said.

According to Tammist, an agreement was reached with Saarde municipality on terms of the annual compensation for electricity production from wind energy. Based on the law, which comes into force in July this year, households located up to two kilometers from the wind farm will be paid annual compensation of up to six times the minimum wage.

The wind turbines will be installed in and scattered across three areas in the southeastern part of Saarde municipality. The wind turbine nearest to households is more than ten kilometers from Kilingi-Nõmme and more than five kilometers from Tihemetsa borough.

Nordecon Betoon, Verston and Connecto will carry out the construction works and Elering will build a new substation for the wind farm. Several local subcontractors and suppliers will be involved in the construction. Utilitas is investing more than €60 million in the Saarde wind farm. The group owns two wind farms in Latvia with a total capacity of 79 MW and is developing new renewable energy generation capacity in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Utilitas is the largest renewable energy producer and district heating company in Estonia, and the largest wind energy producer in Latvia. In 2022, Utilitas produced 1.9 TWh of heat and 405 GWh of electricity. 69% of energy was produced from renewable sources. Utilitas is moving towards carbon neutrality by building new renewable energy production capacities in the region, investing in solar and wind energy, and implementing the first green hydrogen pilot project.