Question marks around Dobele wind farm but 22 turbines still likely to be built

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After the State Environmental Bureau said that the Eolus company may build 35 out of the projected 51 wind turbines in Dobele and Pienava, central Latvia, the business says it's likely they'll only build 22 wind turbines in Pienava, investing about €100m in the project.

Earlier, about 10,000 people signed a petition to prevent construction in the area, with local Ruta Jansone arguing that the wind turbines would turn the fertile Zemgale land into a marsh. 

The Environmental Bureau earlier issued a number of requirements if Swedish-owned Eolus wanted to go on with construction. For instance, twelve turbines would have to be equipped with special de-icing solutions while some of the turbines would have to operate in a special mode in order to minimize risks to bats.

Eolus board member Gatis Galviņš meanwhile said it's likely the company won't erect any wind turbines in Dobele, opting instead to build 22 in neighboring Pienava, which the company still finds feasible. 

Local councilors will have to pass a vote for construction to go ahead. Ēriks Lukmans, head of the Tukums municipal council, said the municipality has found that Latvian laws over compensations and guarantees to people affected by wind parks is very insufficient. 

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