Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Bird's Eye View of Wind Power in Estonia

This week Ambassador Levine realized a small dream: going to the top of an 85m clean energy producing wind turbine. Along with members of the Political/Economic section of the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn, the Ambassador visited the a Nelja Energia’s wind farm in Paldiski, where 18 GE Wind Energy electric turbines produce 67 gigawatt hours per year, enough to meet the needs of 20,000 Estonian families of average energy consumption.

The tour began with a scenic drive through the wind farm to meet with Martin Kruus, the Chairman of the Board of Nelja Energia, and Erkki Kallas, the Production Manager of Nelja Energia, to get more information on wind energy in Estonia and the Paldiski wind farm in particular. We were excited to learn that 6 percent of Estonia’s electricity is supplied by wind farms such as the one in Paldiski.

(Photo: Ambassador Levine at the wind farm, getting ready to climb the turbine and then at the top.)

After the meeting, we were all outfitted with a safety harness, gloves, and escorted to the top of the windmill by one of the windfarm’s mechanical maintenance specialists. The ascent was a bit more physical than expected and required us to climb a long ladder before reaching the tiny, rickety elevator that would bring us the rest of the way to the top, but the view was certainly worth the effort.

(Photo: Laura on the wind turbine.)

Those of us who got to learn about wind energy in Estonia, and travel to the top of the wind turbine wish to extend our gratitude to Sigrit, Martin, Errki and everyne else at Nelja Energia for making this trip possible. It was truly and unforgetable experience.

-Post by Laura Kincaide

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