The electricity transmission system operators in Latvia and Estonia, Augstsprieguma tikls (AST) and Elering will jointly study possible solutions for connecting the planned offshore wind park Elwind in the Baltic Sea to the mainland transmission network in Latvia and Estonia.
The study of preliminary offshore transmission line routes to the areas in the Gulf of Riga and on the West shore of Latvia and Estonia have already been made, but more detailed research and cooperation is required for deeper evaluation and future decision-making process.
“Latvia is also bound by Europe’s common commitment for achieving the goals of green policy or to increase the share of renewable energy, and according to the National Energy and Climate Plan for 2030 the development of offshore wind farms is one of the ways to meet them. The transmission system operator is responsible to provide the necessary infrastructure for that and joint off-shore wind projects with our neighbours will allow both to increase the security of electricity supply and to reduce costs on the way to achieve the set green goals” says Gatis Junghāns, board member of AST.
The total costs for connection of the wind farms in the approved areas in the Gulf of Riga and in the Baltic Sea West of Estonia and Latvia are not fully identified yet, as they depend on the selected technologies, which are constantly developing. The capacity of Elwind is expected 700-1000MW and the project is planned to be completed by the end of 2030.
The Memorandum of Understanding of ELWIND development in the Baltic Sea has been signed by Latvian and Estonian Ministries responsible for energy sector on 18 September 2020. From Latvia the Ministry of Economics, the Latvian Investment and Development Agency and AST and from Estonia the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and Elering are involved to the Elwind project development and implementation.
AST and Elering are responsible for the transmission infrastructure development, construction and connection issues to the mainland transmission network of the Elwind project. Taking into account that Elwind project involves two countries, the project could qualified as regional status project with future possibility to receive co-financing from CEF RES (The Connecting Europe Facility of Renewable Energy) funds, the conditions for which will be known after 2022.