The Estonian government approved a motion at its Thursday sitting that will expand the area covered by a superficies license procedure initiated at the request of Saare Wind Energy for the construction of an offshore wind farm on the western coast of Saaremaa island.

The adjustment was necessary after environmental studies indicated that it is not possible to build wind turbine foundations of necessary strength in the deep clay and clay-sand-filled depressions in the western, central, and eastern portions of the initially outlined superficies license area. Additionally, a study on fish and seabed habitats by the Estonian Marine Institute of the University of Tartu identified protected habitat types within the initial superficies license area, where turbine construction is also not possible, the government’s communication office said.

Based on the results of the studies, Saare Wind Energy submitted an application for the adjustment and extension of the superficies license area to a total of 197.5 square kilometers, which is an increase of up to 18.6 percent compared to the original application.

The modification of the starting terms of the superficies license only extends the area covered by the superficies license to be granted as a result of the procedure and corrects its boundaries. No superficies license is issued as a result on the decision.

If the superficies license process is successful and the developer carried out the project, the offshore farm would add 1,400 megawatts of renewable electricity capacity to Estonia’s electricity market.