Estonia to build underwater hydro plant

The plant is to be located underwater in reservoirs off the Estonian coast near Tallinn, pictured above. Photo by Bruno Girin.

TALLINN — In an effort to bring down power prices and increase carbon-free energy production, Estonia may get a underwater pump hydroelectricity plant along its northern coast.

The plant which will be about 200 m below water and produce 300 mw of electricity, although the Ministry of Economy is questioning the need for such large power capacity. Businessmen Jüri Mõis, Hannes Tamjärv and Aivar Berziniga with the company OÜ Energiasalv are counting on the parliament to add a new subsidy to the Electricity Market Act to make their plans possible.

The plant is planned to be built in the Jõelähtme municipality, 20 km east of Tallinn, with initial construction works scheduled for 2011. Energiasalv has also requested a building permit to construct a 5 hectare artificial island in case the Jõelähtme municipality will not issues a permit.

The company asserts that the plant is needed to address Estonia’s increasing electricity costs and lack of reserve sources.

“Estonia does not have a reserve power source in case some energy blocs fall out and another electricity deficit emerges,” Lembit Vali, Energiasalv’s director told the Äripäev newspaper.

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