State-owned Estonian energy provider Eesti Energia has won an auction for the Tootsi wind farm property, a 160-hectare plot situated in the south-west of the country.

Eesti Energia placed the highest bid at €51.5m while energy supplier OÜ Utilitas came in second, with a bid of €51.45m.

The auction was organised by the State Forest Management Centre (RMK), the state agency in charge of the maintenance of state forests and natural habitats, and had a starting price at €12.3m.

Participants, including wind energy company Tuuleenergia OÜ and Lithuania-based UAB Atsinaujinancios Energetikos Investicijos, made 784 bids during the three-hour auction.

According to the Estonian daily newspaper Postimees, bidders were required to have a deposit of €1.23m and needed to pay a €3,000 participation fee.

Warsaw-based energy consultancy firm Esperis said that Eesti Energia was determined to win the auction.

Esperis analyst Karol Bijos told Power Technology: “The company has been developing the project since 2010. In 20 days, once the RMK will confirm and approve the auction’s result, Eesti Energia will take further steps in the development of the wind park.

“I think it will take three years for the Tootsi wind park to be fully operational.”

With a production capacity of 140 MW, the Tootsi windfarm will help Estonia achieve its renewable energy goals.

“Eesti Energia has now 400 MW capacities, half of which is approximately located in Lithuania and the other half in Estonia. With its 38 windmills, the Tootsi wind park will have a production capacity of 140MW and therefore will be quite an asset to the company’s portfolio,” added Bijos.

After years of legal battles between utility companies, the Estonian Government instructed the environment ministry to auction the property in November 2019. OÜ Utilitas said it will not challenge the RMK’s decision, reported Postimees.

Power Technology has approached the RMK and Eesti Energia for comment.