Local businesses object to proposed wind farm

Local businesses at Dobele, one of the possible locations of a proposed €250 million wind farm by Swedish subsidiary Eolus, object to having wind turbines in their vicinity and have started collecting signatures to prevent construction, reported LTV September 17.

As reported, Eolus want to set up a total of 51 turbines in central/western Latvia, of which 23 would be located in Dobele municipality. Eolus say the wind farm would produce about 10% of Latvia's annual energy consumption. Company head Gatis Galviņš said the turbines would take up a total 0.2 hectares of land.

Local businesses, however, say they're opposed to the plan.

"Zemgale's land has another purpose. It's not suitable to be filled with concrete. That's why [Zemgale] is called the granary of bread," said Kristaps Amsils, the head of Dobeles dzirnavnieks company, which is one of the largest grain producers in the country. 

Other local business owners all but unanimously object to the construction of a wind farm. 

"If the wind turbine lies a kilometer away from the farm and livestock have to graze right beneath it... It pretty much means we have to cease production, leaving 100 people out of work," said Juris Pilveris, head of Ziedi JP, the second-largest livestock farm in Latvia.

Meanwhile Galviņš opposes this, saying that "if there had been observations that wind turbines affect livestock, most likely this industry would have been banned and liquidated long ago."

Locals at Dobele have started collecting signatures within the largest companies and the local municipality, library and other public places.

"When it comes to the council, the authors of the project will have understood that it's not the right place for a wind farm," said Guntis Safranovičs (Greens and Farmers Union), the vice-mayor of the Dobele Municipal Council.

It's planned to build the wind farm in a joint territory located inside Dobele Municipality and Tukums Municipality. It is planned to start construction in 2019 and conclude it in 2022. 

Eolus had announced plans to build several wind farms in Latvia back in 2013. 

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