Border municipality concerned about Lithuanian wind park plans

The residents of Bauska municipality in southern Latvia are worried about the construction of a large wind park planned in Lithuania near the Skaistkalne sinkhole zone, Anita Rozentāle, editor of the regional newspaper Bauskas Dzīve, told Latvian Radio on July 20.

According to her, a gigantic wind park is planned in Lithuania, intended to be constructed only 2.7 kilometers from the center of the village of Skaistkalne and 1.2 kilometers from the sinkhole area of Skaistkalne parish. There is also a sinkhole zone in Lithuania where the wind park is to be built.

Rozentāle said that the wind park was designed for 35 turbines, with their height planned to be up to 270 meters, and a capacity of up to 7.5 megawatts. Environmental specialists have told the newspaper since there have not been such ambitious wind parks in Latvia, the range of potential problems is not know.

"But in the case of Skaistkalne, the most important thing is the sinkhole process. Many older Skaistkalne residents know exactly how it is, when suddenly, you lose your ground quite literally. The earth opens up and everything falls deep into a pit. [..] It can threaten both the foundations of houses and various other objects," said the editor-in-chief of Bauskas Dzīve.

Environmental experts have acknowledged that there have been a number of factors that provoke the virtually unpredictable cataclysm, and one of these factors is human activity. The specialists have said that large wind turbines can also be added to these, whose bases will also stretch underground, reaching the geological structures of the sinkhole processes, Rozentāle said.

Bauskas Dzīve has gone to clarify the situation to the Lithuanian municipality on whose territory this wind park is planned, and it was announced that these 35 wind park turbines are only the first round and this wind park is planning a second round with just as many turbines, Rozentāle said, pointing out that Lithuania's ambitions in the border area should be discussed at intergovernmental level.

The municipality of Bauska has requested to provide information on the environmental impact assessment for the construction of the wind farm park in Lithuania.

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