In April 2021, energy group Utilitas started construction work of wind park Tārgale in the Ventspils region Tārgale parish with the infrastructure preparations as part of the first phase of the project. It is scheduled that the wind park will be completed in the autumn of 2022 with 14 wind turbines with a total capacity of 58,8 MW.
Taking into account the European Union’s Green Deal and Latvia’s commitment to significantly reduce its GHG emissions, wind energy is one of the most important tools to achieve these goals. Wind is one of the most sustainable energy resources, which is fully renewable and fully compensates all consumed production energy within a year. In 2018, wind energy accounted for 1% of end-user electricity consumption in the country.
“Latvia is blessed with river Daugava ensuring a sustainable supply of hydroelectricity. This is a big asset for the country, nevertheless, wind energy has a substantial potential to increase renewable energy production. Wind park Tārgale will improve Latvia´s energy security, reduce dependence on imported energy carriers and increase the share of renewable energy, helping to achieve its renewable energy goals,” says Rene Tammist, Development Manager at Utilitas.
At the first phase of the project, the area will be prepared for the installation of the wind turbines. That means preparing infrastructure with the construction of piles, foundations and public roads, as well as the installation of cable and earthing networks. The installation works of the actual turbines will be done at the next stage.
The main construction contractor will be the construction company Nordecon Betoon, and many local suppliers and sub-contractors will be involved in the process.
14 wind turbines with a respective turbine capacity of 4,2 MW will be installed in the wind park in the year 2022. The estimated annual production of the wind park Tārgale will be 155 GWh of electricity per year, which is enough to satisfy the energy needs of more than 50 thousand households. Wind turbines will be provided by the leading global wind turbine manufacturer Vestas. The tip height of each turbine will reach 152 meters. The innovative turbine blades will be equipped with the trailing-edge serration technology, reducing the total noise levels of the blades. Additionally, turbines will be equipped with icing sensors and light detectors to minimise any interference with the nearby community.
Utilitas completed the acquisition of wind park development company SIA TCK in March 2021.
“Over the years of development we have taken not only numerous steps to meet the regulatory standards required for the construction of a wind park, but also to further reduce its impact on the local community by reducing the initial number of wind turbines from 26 to 14, and by improving technological solutions to increase production efficiency and reduce total noise levels,” affirms Renārs Urbanovičs, SIA TCK board member and Lead Project Manager.
The construction of the wind park Tārgale has been approved by the local Ventspils region authority in 2011. Also, Ventspils Regional Environmental Board has confirmed that the wind park is developed according to the regulatory standards and minimising the impact on the environment. During this process, various experts and state authorities have assessed and certified the operation of the wind park on bird and bat populations, and aircraft safety.
Energy group Utilitas is the largest producer of renewable energy in Estonia. In 2020, Utilitas produced 1,7 TWh of heat and 394 GWh of electricity, of which 75% is from renewable resources. The company manages 550 km of district heating pipelines and supplies heat to 174 000 households in eight Estonian cities, including the capital city Tallinn. Utilitas’ consolidated sales revenue in 2020 was 127 million euros and the volume of assets was 386 million euros.
The company is owned by the European Diversified Infrastructure Fund II, the assets of which are managed by First Sentier Investors and the companies of Utilitas’ board members. First Sentier Investors is a global asset management company that manages more than 148 billion euros (as of 31 December 2020) in assets managed on behalf of institutional investors, pension funds, wholesale distributors, investment platforms, financial advisers and clients worldwide. Utilitas´ majority shareholder First Sentier Investors has extensive international experience in renewable energy sector, amongst its portfolio is Portugal’s second-largest renewable energy producer Finerge, which has sizable wind and solar capacities in Portugal and Spain.