According to Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, the 330 kV overhead transmission line symbolically opened at the Kilingi-Nõmme Elering substation will help to ensure greater security of supply and efficient operation of the electricity market within the Baltic States, but will also create a precondition for disconnecting the Baltic States from the Russian electricity grid.
“Connecting the electricity systems of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to Europe will reduce our energy dependence on Russia and ensure security of electricity supply,” said the prime minister. “The new Estonian–Latvian connection will also strengthen the intra-Estonian network in Western Estonia and the Pärnu region,” she added.
Kallas pointed out that strengthening electricity connections has an important role to play in reducing carbon emissions and developing an environmentally friendly energy system in the long run.
“In order to meet climate and renewable energy goals, Estonia plans to invest in the development of offshore wind farms. Our neighbouring countries have also shown interest in similar projects. I am glad that Estonia and Latvia are leading the construction of offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea. Creating new electricity connections and strengthening the existing ones allows us to connect the production capacities of renewable energy into the power grid to a great extent in the future and will also create new opportunities for other wind farm developments,” she said.
The size of the planned Estonian–Latvian offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Riga would be up to 1,000 MW. The expected completion date of the wind farm is 2030. The wind farm would produce approximately 3.5 terawatt-hours of electricity per year, which is approximately 40 per cent of the annual electricity consumption of Estonia. This would be the first part of a wider network of wind farms in the Baltic Sea.
The total cost of the electricity connection completed in cooperation between Estonia and Latvia is 172 million euros, of which the support from the European Union is 112 million euros or 65%. Estonian electricity consumers did not have to contribute to the financing of the new connection.
Photos from the opening ceremony (Elering / Egert Kamenik): https://flic.kr/s/aHsmWtJgz2