Environment watchdog okays erecting 35 wind turbines in western Latvia

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The State Environmental Bureau has completed assessment of environmental impact of company Eolus' project to build wind parks Dobele and Pienava, and concluded that the company may build 35 out of the projected 51 wind turbines, the company's board member Gatis Galvins told LETA.

According to the Environmental Bureau's decision, Eolus will be permitted to set up 22 wind turbines in Tukums region and 13 turbines in Dobele Region. The other projected turbines may not be installed for different reasons: they would be too close to residential areas, in order to reduce impact on birds and bats, some turbines would have to be built on farmlands of national importance, and others.

The Environmental Bureau has informed Eolus about a number of requirements it will have to observe during the development and operation of the wind parks, for instance, twelve turbines will have to be equipped with special deicing solutions, part of the turbines will operate in a special mode in order to minimize risks to bats, and there are other requirements, said Galviņš.

Furthermore, during the development of the wind parks access to properties in the vicinity must not be restricted, the project must have minimum impact on the local infrastructure, and the company will also have to carry out land development projects.

The number of turbines Eolus is allowed to build is sufficient for the project to be economically viable, and the company will move on with implementing the project, said Galviņš. The Environmental Bureau's conclusions are very important for the development of the project, and Eolus will take the bureau's recommendations into account.

Now that the Environmental Bureau has issued its opinion, the project will have to be harmonized with local governments.

As reported, Eolus is planning to build Latvia's largest wind park with 51 turbines in Dobele and Tukums regions over the next four years. The project is estimated to cost €250 million.

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