The transmission system operators (TSOs) in Latvia and Estonia, AS Augstsprieguma tikls (AST) and Elering AS, have signed a cooperation agreement to study possible solutions for connecting the two countries’ joint 1 GW offshore wind project in the Baltic Sea to their mainland grids.
Latvia and Estonia started discussions for a joint offshore wind project in 2019. Last year, the countries’ governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a 1 GW offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Riga.
The project, named ELWIND, is planned to be commissioned by 2030 and AST and Elering are responsible for the transmission infrastructure development, construction and connection issues to the mainland transmission network of the project.
The two TSOs will now begin a more detailed research of ELWIND’s grid connection(s) to inform future decision-making process, as studies on preliminary offshore transmission routes to the areas in the Gulf of Riga and on the west shore of Latvia and Estonia have already been made.
The total costs for connection of the wind farm 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 TSOs said.
According to the TSOs, the ELWIND project is expected to have an installed capacity of between 700 MW and 1,000 MW and, since the project involves two countries, it could be qualified as a regional project with a 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.